Crime - Sacto 911

20-year-old killed outside Sacramento Home Depot loved tricked-out cars, family

Barajas was found wounded in his Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.
Barajas was found wounded in his Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. Sacramento Police Department

When Anthony Barajas was fatally shot outside a Home Depot on Sunday, the 20-year-old left behind two tightknit communities: his family, who mostly live in the Sacramento area, and lifted car enthusiasts.

The Rosemont High School graduate had over 3,000 Facebook friends, some of whom uploaded pictures of his face next to the words “Ride In Paradise.” According to friend Rodrigo Bueno, Barajas was like a brother to those in his close circles.

“He was very easy to talk to,” Bueno said. “A lot of people considered him more of a family member than a friend. He was always asking if people needed help.”

Police are still searching for whoever shot and killed Barajas shortly before noon Sunday, as he sat in his truck in the Home Depot parking lot on Meadowview Road. His family Thursday released an impassioned plea for help in finding the driver who police believe fired shots from an older model four-door sedan and then fled the area. The vehicle was last seen westbound on Meadowview Road, heading toward Freeport Boulevard.

Bueno was working at a different Home Depot in Sacramento when he heard the news on Sunday. He tried to stay at work but was overcome with grief and had to go home. Bueno said he couldn’t think of a reason anyone would intentionally kill his friend.

Neither could Barajas’ great-uncle, Gabriel Barajas Sr. The 20-year-old did not take drugs and was not involved in gangs, to his family’s knowledge, Barajas Sr. said. He never had more than one beer at family barbecues.

“Even kids in the family, you know they’re getting in trouble, and sooner or later you get the bad news. You start thinking of all the bad things they got into,” said Barajas Sr., 56, who lives in Gold River. “With him, it was really not anything like anyone in the family would think, that he would lose his life like that.”

Barajas Sr. described Anthony as great with kids, though more reserved with adults. When he did talk, it was often about the new wheels or upgrades he had put on his gold Toyota Tacoma truck.

“He was always pretty quiet, at least around the adults,” Barajas Sr. said. “Not a guy that would really create any problems for anybody. The little kids in the family are really missing him because he was really good with them.”

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to call Crime Alert at 916-443-4357, or text a tip to 274637. Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee