Loved ones are devastated after a Riverside grandfather and veteran was shot and killed on his front lawn.
The shooting happened on Oct. 28 in broad daylight when Michael Rangel, 68, and his family had just returned home from lunch. Rangel is a father to four children and nine grandchildren and loved nothing more than his family and his faith.
“When I think about it, if I can just say ‘I love you’ one more time or to hear him say ‘I love you,’ said Monica Rangel, Michael’s daughter. “It’s hard.”
Monica has told her dad countless amount of times how much she loves him but said she would give anything to hear those words from him one last time. Since his murder, she and her family have been living in a waking nightmare.
Michael was a lifelong Riverside resident and a Vietnam-era army veteran who was retired. He loved spending his free time with loved ones.
“He would always tell us to always have faith and to not doubt because God is greater than any obstacle that we have in our lives,” Monica said.
On that tragic day, the Rangels had just returned home on Saturday afternoon when Monica said her father decided to water the front lawn of their home on Harmony Lane. Just several minutes later, however, she heard gunshots ring out.
“The next thing I know, I hear my mom screaming my dad’s name and then my niece ran out and started screaming hysterically, ‘Grandpa, grandpa! Not my grandpa!’”
Michael had been shot. A neighbor, who was a nurse, ran out to administer CPR as Michael’s pulse grew fainter.
I was just pleading, ‘No Dad, no! You can’t leave. I need you. I need you here. Don’t leave us,’” Monica said tearfully.
Several rounds of gunshots were fired at the family’s garage door and front entrance, leaving the exterior riddled with bullet holes.
Monica said the shooter used a high-powered rifle. The family still has so many unanswered questions and wonders why someone would target Michael in this way.
“That’s what I keep asking myself,” Monica said. “Like, was this some sort of gang initiation? I don’t know. I really don’t know.”
Riverside police are investigating but have not released many details so far. As the Rangel Family grieves and tries to make sense of Michael’s death, one thing is clear, they said — he didn’t deserve to die like this.
“He always would tell us violence is an endless cycle, so it needs to stop,” Monica said. “It’s not fair that we lost someone who we love dearly.”
No arrests have been made, but investigators told KTLA they do not believe Michael was targeted.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Rangel Family with funeral expenses. His family said Michael will be buried in his hometown at the Riverside National Cemetery.