DENVER (KDVR) — A family mourns the loss of Richard “Richie” Lovato, who was killed in a shooting Monday night.

Lovato’s relatives talked about who he was and what they say led up to his death.

“Richie was a very happy, loving young man who cared deeply about his family. and we just really miss him,” Kimberly Lovato said.

Kimberly Lovato is Richie’s aunt. She spoke with FOX31 from her home in Pueblo.

“Richie is more like a son to me than my nephew,” she said. “I’ve been so close to him.”

Like the rest of his family, Lovato’s death has been hard to reconcile, especially how he died.

The Denver Police Department said Lovato was shot and killed by the corner of 14th Avenue and Meade Street, just south of Colfax Avenue.

“We’re devastated,” his aunt said. “We’re completely saddened by it, and even all of his aunts and uncles have had a hard time returning to normal life.”

Richie Lovato looks into the camera
Richie Lovato (Credit: Lovato family)

The family said Lovato had been texting his girlfriend about someone spitting on other people at a party. Lovato texted he was going to confront the person but was beat up instead. When the texts stopped, his family said his girlfriend feared the worst.

Those fears were realized when they said Lovato’s girlfriend got a call from police telling her he was dead.

“He had started a new job and was trying to do everything right,” his aunt said.

Adding to the tragedy of his death was Lovato’s plan for the future: a new job and fathering his 2-year-old son.

“He’s not going to know him, I don’t believe, or remember him. But I would just let him know that he really loved him and wanted to have more time with him,” Kimberly Lovato said.

Click here to donate to Lovato’s memorial fund.

If you have any information about this case, you are asked to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-STOP.