SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Loved ones Wednesday were mourning the death of a San Jose handyman who was killed Tuesday evening in what police are calling the city’s 40th homicide of the year.

Officers responded to a report of a disturbance in the 2100 block of San Antonio Street at 6:08 p.m., police Sgt. Heather Randol said. They arrived and found the victim, who was unresponsive, police said. He died that evening.

Family members who gathered outside a baby-blue, one-story home on an alley off on San Antonio Street this morning identified the victim as Joe Torres.

His daughter, 18-year-old Sabrina Torres, said she believes Torres was drinking with his wife’s son from a previous marriage on Tuesday when the two got into a fight.

“I talked to him last night,” she said. “I never got to say I loved him.”

The victim’s stepson from an earlier marriage, 36-year-old Robert Torres, said the elder Torres worked as a handyman.

“He was a good guy,” Robert Torres said.

Frank Perez, Joe Torres’ cousin, said Torres was about 52 and had recently separated from his wife after the two married about a year ago.

According to Perez, the wife was currently living at the one-story house where the killing occurred, and Torres wanted her to move into his apartment with him.

Perez, 45, said he grew up with Torres in San Jose. He said his cousin was a handyman who did electrical work, landscaping and other jobs.

“He did anything,” Perez said.

He said Torres took after his father and “dressed up and down to a T,” including wearing snakeskin boots.

Perez said that although Torres drank often, he appeared to be content with his life.

“He was happy. At least what I’ve seen of him, he was happy. The guy had a big heart. Anyone could call him and he would always come and help you,” Perez said.

Family members said Torres’ wife was at the home at the time the killing happened but that there are conflicting reports of what occurred.

Neighbor Evelyn Avila, 46, said she was cooking dinner when she saw the flashing lights of the police cars. When she went outside, an officer asked her if she had heard an argument and she said she hadn’t, Avila said.

She said she saw emergency responders performing CPR on the victim.

Police said the circumstances of the death remain under investigation, and no arrests have been made in the case.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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