Hector Arce got out of jail Thursday and wanted to turn his life around.
"He was tired of being in jail so he wanted to turn his life around and he seemed pretty set on it," said close friend of the family Raquel Guerrero. "He didn't get a chance."
The night of his death, his mother Juanita Morales said he was out getting a California burrito, his favorite, when he was shot multiple times and .
He was 36-years-old.
A memorial has began to grow in the alley where he was shot with candles, flowers and a bottle of Squirt, his favorite soda.
The last conversation Arce had with his mother was that he would be happy if he lived another two years.
"He said 'Mom I'll be happy if I live until I'm 38, so you have two more years to prepare.'"
At the time she thought it was a joke.
"I told him 'Son, a mother's not going to put herself like that.'"
The oldest of six siblings, he was also the shortest.
"He would always tell the bigger ones 'If I had your height and your eyes I'd have all the women in the world," his mother said Hector often told his brothers.
His sense of humor earned him the nickname "Mr. Looney Tunes."
"Hector was a kind hearted, caring, loving person to be with. He was very, very funny. He always made everybody laugh and he will be loved in our hearts for always and forever," Morales said.
Born in South County and raised in Imperial Beach, Arce was known to say "Isn't it a beautiful and sunny day in IB?"
"He had Imperial Beach tattooed all over him. He loved to be in Imperial Beach," Guerrero said. His favorite places to be were at the beach and local bars, especially on Palm Avenue, where he was the night before his death.
A funeral or memorial service has not yet been planned.
Hector is survived by his mother Juanita Morales, stepfather Robert Garcia, and siblings Ophelia Arce, Luis Martinez, Daniel Arce, Robert Garcia Jr. and Alejandro Garcia.
Suspect information has not been released due to conflicting statements, the sheriff's department said in a statement early Sunday morning.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Homicide Detail at 858-974-2321 and after hours at 858-565-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-TIPS(8477).