BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A young man who was a husband and father was gunned down in his car in broad daylight.

The young man was identified as Joshua Mercado by his family.

Mercado was shot at Golden Valley Luxury Apartments. This was the sixth Kern County homicide in the last two weeks and 23rd homicide since the beginning of the year.

“He was my best friend, my comedian, my Tik-Tok guru, and I just want him back,” Joshua Mercado’s wife Samantha Mercado said.

Joshua Mercado was an Army veteran, a father, a loving husband, a son and a brother of five.
He just turned 25. His wife Samantha Mercado also an Army veteran has been married to Joshua for two years. She said she can still see him sitting on the couch watching television at her mom’s house just hours before the shooting.

“You know we were here last night,” Samantha said. “He was laying right there. Combing his mustache.”

Samantha says Joshua did everything he could for his friends and family.

“He hugged me and gave me a kiss. He said I love you. that’s what I’m grateful for you know. Because there are so many people in this world who don’t get to say that goodbye. People shouldn’t go to sleep with that hate in their hearts. Because they don’t know if tomorrow’s promised.”

According to police, officers found Joshua inside his vehicle at the apartment complex. He was transported to the hospital where he died. Samantha said the suspect is someone many in the apartment complex had known.

“He was just racist. He was a racist and he didn’t like Hispanic men and I guess he threatened a few other people in the complex as well,” Samantha said. “It’s devastating as well because if the property complex would have done something then I wouldn’t be having this interview with you”

Staff at Golden Valley Luxury Apartments spoke with 17 News about the shooting. They say the entire community has been shaken by the violent crime.

“I just want answers. I want revenge,” Samantha said. “I know that’s not the answer and I know that’s not going to fix anything or this other person’s family but he took something from me that I was supposed to grow old with. Someone I was supposed to have children with and start a family with.”

For now, police have not yet confirmed if there’s been any arrest in connection to Mercado’s murder.