One of the victims of an apparent murder-suicide in Janesville last week grew up in Milton and graduated from Parker High School.
Carlos A. Cruz Portillo, 27, known as Charlie to many, had a 6-year-old daughter, according to his obituary, which appears in today’s Gazette, and information posted with a GoFundMe fundraiser.
The shooting took place Thursday night at Cruz’s home in the Town and Country Mobile Home Park on the city’s south side.
Police said last week a 43-year-old Madison man shot a 27-year-old Janesville man and then shot and killed himself. They did not identify the victims.
Police said the 27-year-old had been having a relationship with a woman who had a child with the 43-year-old, and all three had worked at B&G Foods, a food processor in Stoughton.
Police could not be reached for an update Wednesday.
Cruz’s stepfather, Lloyd Hause of Colorado Springs, Colorado, said he heard through Cruz’s mother that Cruz had an on-and-off relationship with the woman for several years, and the woman was estranged from the 43-year-old, who nevertheless was jealous.
“From my understanding, he just showed up and confronted Charlie and opened fire on him,” Hause said.
Hause posted in the GoFundMe appeal: “Charlie was a hard worker and just closed on his first investment home that we have all been working hard to put on Airbnb.”
Hause told The Gazette the investment property is in Colorado.
“Charlie was extremely close with his mother, and he just told her it was his goal to be successful and support her and ensure she didn’t have to work past 50,” the appeal continues. “I’ve started this to help ensure Charlie’s legacy and to keep that promise to his mother and ensure his daughter is well cared for and also has a bright future.”
Hause married Cruz’s mother in 2001 and brought her and her three sons to the United States, Hause said. They divorced in 2008, but Hause stayed close with the children.
Hause said he brought his new family to Milton when Cruz was 8. Cruz graduated from Parker in 2013.
Cruz’s mother lived with Cruz and Cruz’s daughter lives with her mother, Hause said.
Cruz was always kind, generous and helpful to others, Hause said. He recalled remodeling his father’s bathroom about five years ago, and Cruz was the first to help.
“He never, ever asked for money. He just wanted to be there to help,” Hause said. “He was always there for anybody and was very motived to do something with his life, and he was basically on his way.”
Funeral services for Cruz are set for Saturday with a visitation at 1 p.m. and celebration of life from 3 to 5 p.m. at Schneider Funeral Home & Crematory, Janesville.