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Family remembers son killed in Arvada home

A Northglenn family talks after their son was allegedly shot and killed by his girlfriend's brother in an Arvada apartment.

ARVADA, Colo. — A Northglenn family is still trying to figure out why their 23-year-old son was killed in his own home.

"I spoke to him three days prior and that's when I was giving him a hard time about Thanksgiving,” said Michelle Mendoza.

Mendoza was hoping she’d be able to see her only son, Joseph McCreery, this week. But he was shot and killed Monday afternoon inside his Arvada apartment.

McCreery lived at the apartment with his girlfriend, her mother, and her brother Anthony Aguilera-Rivera. McCreery never informed his family of any problems in the home.

RELATED: Man faces murder charge after fatal shooting at Arvada townhouse

Court documents say Rivera called police and told them McCreery cut him in the face with a knife three times. Rivera told police he shot McCreery three times, killing him. The coroner said McCreery was shot nine times.

"I don't think anyone deserves to be taken unexpectedly. Obviously, God has a plan, and you're going to go. But you need to go on his terms not someone else's,” said McCreery’s uncle Steven Mendoza.

Joseph's uncle is emotional. But he's the strength his nieces and his sister need during this time.


“I’m here to support them in any way they need. I love my family,” Steven said.

The love this family has for each other and Joseph is felt in the living room where they gathered with photos of Joseph nearby.

"He's still with us. We still feel him. He's in our hearts. We have all of these memories and great times,” Steven said.

‘JoJo’ was known to be a lover, hard worker and sports fanatic – although he was a Giants fan, family said. These are the traits his mother wants both friends and strangers to remember.

"Hold your kids tighter, tell them you love them one more time. Just anything. Family is all we got. And I love mine so much,” Michelle said.

It's still unclear what led up to the shooting. Rivera is expected to be in court on Dec. 6. 

Credit: Arvada PD
Anthony Aguilera-Rivera

Tonight, the family is holding a vigil at 6 p.m. at Faversham Park in Westminster. If you’d also like to help the family during their time of need, you can do so here.

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