DENVER (KDVR) — A vigil was held for Richie Lovato, a father of a 2-year-old, who was shot and killed near Paco Sanchez Park in West Denver on Monday.
The incident happened Monday night and police are still looking for a suspect in that case.
Lovato’s family, friends, girlfriend, mother and son returned to the place where he was killed to remember him.
“He acts just like his dad,” Shyanne Montoya said, “sometimes I think he is his dad.”
Montoya is the mother of Lovato’s son, Richie. She shares that grief with Hannah Webber, Richie’s mother.
“He was a really good kid,” Webber said. “He’d light up a room when he’d come into any room. He would do anything for anybody.”
Montoya spent a memorable day with him before he died.
“We gave each other a kiss and a hug,” Montoya said, “we had like the best day ever. We went to go eat, we got our glasses, he was so excited to get his glasses.”
Accounts vary, but Lovato’s family said he confronted someone about spitting at other people, which led to an argument and eventually Lovato getting shot.
His mother said that the description fits her son’s character.
“That is exactly how he was,” Webber said. “He would always try to make any situation better, even if he knew he shouldn’t be part of the situation, he’d do that.”
Montoya was texting Lovato the night he was killed, and she said at some point, the texts stopped.
“Then I tried to call him and he didn’t answer,” Montoya said.
The word was getting around about what happened, eventually getting back to Montoya.
“He’s like ‘yeah bro he’s shot’ and I’m like ‘what do you mean’ and a bunch of people started texting me,” Montoya said, “telling me that he got shot and I’m like, I just didn’t believe it so I started calling the hospitals and they’re like we don’t have him, we don’t have him.”
As they look back on his life, Lovato’s family and friends now look toward his legacy: his one and only child.
“Tell him what a great person he was,” Webber said, “how much he loved him, how much he would do anything in the world for him and that he has all of us to do that for him now.”
“He’ll always be his dad and his dad loved him more than I could ever put in words,” Montoya said.
The family has a GoFundMe set up to help pay for Lovato’s funeral services.
If you have any information about this case, call our partners at Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP.