On Christmas Eve, a Texas man fatally shot and killed a worker who mistook him for a robber, police said.

On Christmas Eve, a maintenance worker in Texas was checking for frozen and burst pipes at an apartment complex when he was shot and killed by a local resident who mistook him for a burglar, police said.

Cesar Montelongo Sr., 53, was on a balcony when he was badly wounded by a shooter who fired from a window, Grande Prairie police said in a statement Monday.

The shooting occurred around 6:00 p.m. Saturday at an apartment complex in the 2900 block of Aluette Drive. Police said Montelongo was pronounced dead in the hospital.

Cesar Montelongo (center).
Cesar Montelongo (center), a maintenance worker, was fatally shot at work the day before his 29th wedding anniversary.via GoFundMe

“Detectives determined that the victim was checking several balconies for freezing and ruptured water pipes after several pipes burst,” police said. “A resident who believed his apartment had been robbed armed himself with a firearm and shot the victim through the window.”

The police also said: “The resident remained at the scene and is cooperating with detectives. So far, no arrests have been made. While the case is under investigation, the Grand Prairie Detectives are moving the case to the Tarrant County Grand Jury.”

Caesar Montelongo Jr., 28, of Arlington, told NBC News Wednesday that his father was the chief repairman at the Clayton Pointe complex in Grande Prairie, a suburb of Dallas, where he was fatally shot.

“It turned out that not one bullet was fired, but four,” he said. “He didn’t do anything malicious. He didn’t even try to open the balcony door. He did not try to enter the apartment. My dad worked there for 16 years. All the inhabitants knew him, and he knew all the inhabitants.”

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office stated that Montelongo Sr. died from a gunshot wound to the chest and ruled his death a homicide.

NBC Dallas-Fort Worth According to defense attorney and former prosecutor Russell Wilson, who is not involved in the case, the Lock Doctrine, a law that allows homeowners to protect their property from expected burglary, may apply to the shooting. Wilson said the property could extend to a balcony.

However, the biggest question is whether the resident was notified that renovations were taking place on their property, Wilson said. He said the response would “play a very big role,” according to the news outlet.

On Wednesday, no one from Clayton Pointe could be contacted for comment.

Montelongo Jr. said his father was in touch on Christmas Eve, the day before his 29th wedding anniversary. Montelongo Jr. is the eldest of five male children left by his father.

Montelongo Jr. described his father as “disinterested” and said he preferred to live with a smile.

“Wherever he went, he was just a light,” he said. “He always had a smile on his face. He didn’t like being upset. He was someone who never wanted to hurt anyone.”

Montelongo Jr. said his mother was “devastated” by her husband’s death, noting that “he never came home for his anniversary.”

Montelongo Jr. also said that the shooting of his father could have been “100 percent avoided”, but he is trying to keep things in perspective.

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