SOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) – The family of a man killed in a shooting and car crash in Southington is speaking out.
Jose Principe, 28, died on Queen Street early Thursday morning.
Police made an arrest this weekend for the murder. As the investigation continues, the grief for his family is just the beginning.
Eyewitness News learned from Jose’s family that Jose is a gentleman, a new father, funny, smart and interesting.
George Russell feels that pain as he recalls his youth in Bridgeport, growing up with his cousin, whom everyone calls ‘Rico’, a creative artist who loved to design clothes.
Coming from a large family, Rico and his cousins grew up as a tight-knit group.
“Boys you know, we’ve all become so close, we’re like brothers from a big family,” George said.
After graduating from Basic High, Rico was working second shift at Paragon Medical, a medical device manufacturer in Southington.
His car accident and subsequent discovery of a gunshot wound baffles the family, who believe Victor Perez has nothing to do with him, and that Rico was not the type to interact with strangers.
“That was what was on my mind the most. He was a kind hearted person without a bone in his body,” said George. “He had a magnetic smile. People loved his smile. He was funny. He drew laughter from a room.”
Rico is a new father whose five-month-old daughter is the inspiration of his life.
George said his cousin was working harder to support his family. Now the others must make sure Rico’s memories stay strong for his daughter.
“She’s never going to know him personally, and we’re not going to let him be forgotten,” George said. “It’s just pain.”
Rico’s funeral is in progress. The family has put together a GoFundMe page to help cover expenses. In addition to her daughter, Rico leaves behind a fiancé, her father and three siblings.
The suspect, Victor Perez, is locked up on a probation violation. At the next court appearance, Southington police will arrive with an arrest warrant charging him with murder.
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