DENVER -- Grieving family members say Richard Hammond was killed on Valentine’s Day by someone who stole his wallet, his watch, wedding ring and cell phone.
Friday evening, family members fanned out through his neighborhood posting crime alert fliers which indicate that Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible.
Investigators said Hammond, 63, was on his way to work Tuesday morning when he was killed. He was the transportation director at the Fountain – Fort Carson School District.
The victim’s sister-in-law, Cindy Valdez, told Denver7 that Hammond left home at 3:30 in the morning so he could be at work by 5 a.m.
“He never showed up,” Valdez said. “Everybody’s devastated.”
Valdez said Hammond was one of the most kind and gentle people you’d ever meet.
She said family members suspect he met his demise at the hands of a drug addict.
“If I can be brutally blunt,” she said, “some freaking low-life… is going to talk. Somebody is going to get high or drunk, or start bragging, or whatever, because they need the $2,000 reward.”
Police said Hammond died as the result of a gunshot wound.
Neighbor Donald Aguon said he didn’t hear any gunshots early Tuesday morning and said his dogs didn’t appear to react to any either.
“It made me think that (the shooting) didn’t happen here because I’m in earshot range,” he said, “especially if it was multiple gunshots.”
Another neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, found the victim in his car, parked next to an abandoned apartment building, three blocks from Hammond’s home.
“I thought he was sleeping,” she said. “I knocked on the window and there was no response.”
When the neighbor came back later in the day, the car was still there. She said she knocked on the window again, then walked around to the driver’s side window.
“I looked in to see if he was breathing,” she said, “and he wasn’t, so I called the cops.”
“We’re sad and we’re pissed,” Valdez said. “We’re pissed that a good man was shot for absolutely no reason.”
The sister-in-law told Denver7 that Hammond had retired from the Marines after 24 years.
“He comes back to get shot? It’s senseless,” she said. “It’s just senseless."