Pair Sought After Attempted Robbery Leaves Father of 3 Dead Outside His Hesperia Home: Officials

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Officials sought the public's help Tuesday finding two people involved in what they believe to be an attempted robbery that left a father of three dead outside his Hesperia home.

James Curtis Hampton appears in a photo provided by his family on Dec. 3, 2019.

James Curtis Hampton appears in a photo provided by his family on Dec. 3, 2019.

San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies responded to calls about shots fired in the 16500 block of Smoke Street around 6:30 p.m. Monday.

The officers arrived to find a man, 39-year-old James Curtis Hampton, unresponsive on the roadway, the Sheriff's Department said. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Investigators said they later learned that two armed male individuals had confronted the victim at his home in an attempted robbery. A fight broke out and Hampton ran to the street, where one of the assailants shot him, the Sheriff's Department said.

An acquaintance of Hampton who was near the residence heard the commotion and went to check on the victim, officials said. The perpetrators hit that acquaintance with a gun before fleeing in a black truck and a gold sedan, according to the Sheriff's Department.

The agency said it's unclear if any property was taken.

Hampton's family described the victim as a father of one girl and two boys, including a 16-year-old he lived with. The teen was inside their home when the incident happened, but he did not get hurt, according to family members.

Hampton's family previously said the victim's roommate was outside with his girlfriend when two people pulled up from two vehicles and demanded to be let inside the home. The roommate was being questioned, his family said.

Officials described the perpetrators as a light-skinned black male about 5 feet, 8 inches tall and a dark-skinned Hispanic male about 5 feet, 8 to 10 inches tall.

The Sheriff's Department said detectives have interviewed several witnesses. They asked anyone with additional information to call Detective Simon DeMuri at 909-387-3589. Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact WeTip by calling 800-78CRIME or visiting wetip.com.

Hampton had been battling prostate cancer for the past five years, his family said.

"He’s a good man," Hampton's mother, Tonya Clark, said of her son. "He was good to everybody."

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