‘You will forever be in my heart’: Man shot in Lemon Grove was father, Marine

SAN DIEGO -- Officials say the man killed in a Lemon Grove shooting early Friday morning was a 21-year-old Marine from New York.

Christopher Truax Jr. was an active duty U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant stationed at MCAS Miramar, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said Sunday, offering a $1,000 reward for anyone who can offer information leading to the arrest of his killer.

Truax Jr.'s wife, Alexia, shared photos with FOX 5 showing her with her late husband and their 11-month-old son.

She also shared an emotional message to the love of her life:

“To the person who molded me … thank you for choosing me to be the mother of your son and wife,” Alexia said in part. “My love for you is endless, and just knowing baby Chris and I won’t be hearing from you again makes me go insane. It feels like a bad dream and I am speechless. You didn’t deserve this Christopher and you will forever be in my heart."

Deputies say they found Truax Jr. bleeding from a gunshot wound on Pacific Avenue, between West Street and New Jersey Avenue, just after midnight Friday.

Lemon Grove Fire Department crews attempted to save his life, but Truax Jr. died at 12:39 a.m., according to the Sheriff's Department. A woman was spotted in a parked car near the injured Marine, but investigators say she is currently only considered a witness to the crime.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Sheriff's Homicide Unit at 858-974-2321 or after hours at 858-285-6330. Tipsters can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.