Family of drive-by shooting victim searches for answers

2014-01-23T00:00:00Z 2014-01-23T08:58:36Z Family of drive-by shooting victim searches for answersBy Carmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 23, 2014 12:00 am  • 

The victim of a drive-by shooting in a downtown neighborhood last week died Monday .

At about 10 p.m. Jan. 14, Osvaldo Raul Vargas, 35, and two of his neighbors were standing outside Vargas’ home in the 400 block of West 19th Street near South Osborne Avenue, when a red or maroon SUV pulled up and someone inside fired at the home.

“We don’t know at this point if it was random,” said Sgt. Pete Dugan, a Tucson Police Department spokesman .

The men standing next to Vargas were unharmed. Vargas was taken to a hospital and died Monday.

His wife, Brenda, 36, described her husband as a “hardworking, responsible” man who was fulfilled with his family. She and their five children, 6 to 14, were everything he wanted, she said Wednesday night.

“He was a beautiful friend, husband, son and father,” said Claudia Monteverde, 36, Osvaldo’s sister.

Monteverde pleaded for anyone with information to come forward.

The Vargas family is being assisted by Homicide Survivors, a nonprofit group that helps families of victims.

Vargas was a delivery driver for a mattress company and arrived home from work at about 9 p.m. the evening he was shot, Brenda Vargas recalled.

Vargas went outdoors because a neighbor repeatedly telephoned him, she said, adding that he wanted to talk to her husband about a job. Another man also was present.

While they were talking for about 10 minutes, gunfire erupted and Vargas was struck, she recalled.

A fund for the family has been set up, and checks can be written to Homicide Survivors with a note in the memo section saying the donation is for Osvaldo Raul Vargas. Donations can be mailed to Homicide Survivors, 32 N. Stone Ave., Suite 1408, Tucson 85701. The website is www.azhomicidesurvivors.org

Anyone with information can call 911 or 88-CRIME.

Kimberly Matas contributed to this story.

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