SAN JOSE, Calif. - Family and friends held a vigil Tuesday night in downtown San Jose to demand justice for a man killed in March.
Matt Chavira would have celebrated his 37th birthday on this day.
The gathering opened with a prayer at Christmas in the Park. There is a tree dedicated to him,
Chavira's loved ones expressed sadness amidst the holiday cheer.
"He loved gatherings, family gatherings. Loved Christmas and we're going to have an empty seat. We had an empty seat at Thanksgiving. It's very difficult," Chavira's aunt Kathy Leglu said as she mourned the loss of her nephew.
He was shot and killed nine months ago.
Leglu said Chavira lived with her for a year and that her heart is broken, "A part of me is gone."
A friend of Chavira who was with him on the night he was killed, said they had just left a fundraiser in East San Jose.
He was sitting in the driver's seat when someone walked up and fired four shots through the window and killed him.
No one has been arrested.
Police released surveillance video of a SUV they're looking for: a 2002 to 2005 blue Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer edition with tan trim.
Investigators say it was seen leaving the scene of the homicide.
"We just want them caught. We want justice served and them put away. If they could do something like this so cold-hearted, they don't belong out here," said a friend who wished to remain anonymous.
Family and friends said they don't know why anyone would want to harm Chavira, a mechanic and single father of two teenage sons.
They described him as a man with a tough demeanor and a tender heart.
"Matt was a cool dude. In short, he was just a cool cat," said friend Rick Patterson.
Family and friends say they never imagined that his life would be taken so suddenly and senselessly.
"If you know anything, please help us," one friend said as she passed out flyers asking for help in raising money for a reward to help find the person responsible for killing Chavira.
"Put them behind bars where they belong and maybe at that time, I can ask this person why? said Leglu.
Family and friends said they plan to gather once a month to honor his memory.
Justice for Matt has organized a fundraiser through Gofundme.