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  • Renée C. Byer /

    Antoinette Lugo, arriving Wednesday at Caymus Park in Sacramento's Vineyard Area, where her husband, Colen Lugo Sr., had been killed, is hugged tightly by her mother, Regina Wallace. "I want to see my husband," Antoinette Lugo cried. "He has 10 children, eight girls and two boys … . I have to go home and explain this."

  • Renée C. Byer /

    Detectives comb the homicide scene near victim Colen Lugo Sr.'s truck Wednesday, "He was an excellent person," Lugo's mother-in-law said. "He was coming here to help somebody and he got gunned down."

Father of 10 fatally shot at southeast Sacramento County park

Published: Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 - 8:26 am

Last week, Sacramento's Caymus Park was the site of a National Night Out party – an annual celebration of community and street crime prevention. Wednesday morning, however, it was the scene of a fatal shooting.

Colen Lugo Sr., 43, was gunned down as he sat in his white moving truck, stopped next to the Vineyard-area park about 11:30 a.m. Witnesses described a scene of marijuana and blood, and law enforcement confirmed marijuana was found near the truck.

The victim's distraught wife, Antoinette Lugo, arrived at the scene and pleaded with investigators to let her see her husband's body.

"What am I supposed to do without him?" she cried.

Colen Lugo was the father of 10 children – eight girls and two boys, Antoinette Lugo said. She wondered aloud how she would explain their father's death.

"He was a good man, he was a good provider and he was a good father," said Regina Wallace, the victim's mother-in-law. "He was an excellent person. He had a moving company and he was coming here to help somebody and he got gunned down."

Two witnesses, however, told The Sacramento Bee they saw marijuana at the scene as they ran to the truck to help. One of them said he saw two men run from the truck holding a bag.

Sacramento County sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos confirmed investigators found marijuana spilled outside the moving truck, and said a drug deal gone bad is one scenario being investigated.

The Bee is not identifying witnesses because no arrests had been made as of Wednesday night.

A 20-year-old man said he was on a nearby roof, painting a house when he heard a gunshot.

"When we walked to see if he was OK, there was a whole bunch of marijuana in the cab and then the whole (truck) smelled like it," he said.

"Then there was a whole bunch of marijuana dropped on the ground. So what it seems like is … (the suspects) ran up and just took it."

The witness said he saw two men run from the moving truck to a parked car and then drive away, he said.

A 24-year-old man said he was in his home when he heard a "pop." He and his neighbor ran out and tried to pull the victim from the truck, as an emergency dispatcher had suggested.

"He was lodged in between the seats," the man said of the victim. "Blood, weed everywhere – weed all over the ground, the seat and on the sidewalk."

He also said he saw two men run toward a car parked in front of the truck and flee in that car.

Several hours after the shooting, when the victim's wife and mother-in-law arrived at the scene, Lugo's body was still partly visible in the truck. They complained he had not been covered with a tarp.

Ramos said investigators rarely cover bodies of homicide victims. "Covering the body contaminates the scene and potentially destroys evidence," he said. "We don't get a second chance to rectify the scene of an incomplete death investigation."

The shooting occurred in a residential area of red brick and wood panel homes. Neighborhood watch signs are posted on every street corner.

A few feet from the crime scene was a newly remodeled playground in Caymus Park, about a quarter-mile from Maeola R. Beitzel Elementary School.

Residents, however, said they were not shocked.

One resident, Todd Ross, said he has noticed more crime in the neighborhood.

"This is the second time I've seen this happen at this park," said Ross, 27. "The last time was probably a few years ago. Stuff like this has been happening more and more in this area."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department at (916) 874-5115.

Call The Bee's Kristopher Rivera, (916) 321-1101 Follow him on Twitter @kgrivera.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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