FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno murder case is drudging up bad memories for a family struck by the same type of tragedy a few years earlier. 28-year-old Lathan Ma was shot and killed three weeks ago. Ma answered a knock on the door and moments later, breathed his last breath. On the other side of the door stood Israel Garcia, according to police, and when it opened, he started shooting.
"It's cold blooded, said Carlos Ma, Lathan's father. "Took his life at a young age."
Carlos Ma agrees with the neighbors we spoke to at the scene of the shooting: His son was a gentle man, a hard worker, and a dedicated father to his four daughters. He was also deeply in love with his girlfriend, Ulyssa.
"Him and his girl were always happy," said Carlos Ma. "I mean they were always happy. There was always joy there. They were the perfect couple."
Ulyssa was in the apartment sleeping when the shots rang out, and a stray bullet nearly hit her. Family members say she didn't see the killer, so when detectives told her it was Garcia, she was crushed. According to police, her father killed her boyfriend.
In court Wednesday, Garcia pleaded not guilty, but family members say he's made a full confession. We weren't allowed to record video, but he teared up as he waited for the judge to call his name. Lathan's father thinks those were crocodile tears.
"It was just cold blooded, a cold blooded death," he said. "No remorse or nothing. And now to say he's sorry? I don't think so. He's not sorry."
Ma's mother was also a murder victim. Two men were convicted of stabbing her to death eight years ago in Sacramento. His family is now suffering a similar tragedy and hoping for a similar conclusion.
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