It was supposed to be a meet-up for a car deal in Fairfield but a teenager was left dead. Now his family is mourning the devastating loss.
Michael Lopretta, just like his father also named Michael, was a huge car fanatic at age 19.
“Michael liked everybody and cared about everybody,” Lopretta shared to FOX40.
The teenager left his home in Benicia on Thursday afternoon to buy a car from someone he knew from the internet.
He kept his communication line open with his father all the time up to the scheduled meeting.
“He was very excited about it and he made a decision that he was going to buy that car,” Lopretta recalled. “We knew who he was going to meet. We knew the name of the person and everything.”
However, Fairfield police received a report before 12:30 of that day, informing about a man sustaining a gunshot injury in a neighborhood close to Tyler Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.
“I was hoping that it wasn’t true and that it was a mistake,” the teenager’s mother, Jessica Treat, said. She last saw her son on his way to the meet-up but never expected that it was the last time she’d see Michael, Treat told FOX40.
“Just completely numb all over and in shock and I couldn’t believe that I’m talking with, you know, a detective and a sergeant at my dinner table,” she said.
The suspect was identified as Kamaria Strange, 24, who was arrested by the police over homicide charges.
While there are no clear details on the meet-up yet, law enforcers believe that it was a failed car deal.
The bereaved family expressed their pride in the man Michael had become.
“I was lucky to be his dad for 19 years,” Lopretta said.
Meanwhile, the police are advising the public to prioritize safety when meeting with another person for a deal, KRON4 reported.
A Safe Exchange Zone for residents is being offered by the City of Fairfield Police Department for online businesses and transactions in a monitored place. The said zone equipped with 24-hour surveillance is located at a parking lot next to the police station at Kentucky and Jackson streets.