Vigil planned for security guard who was fatally shot in East San Jose

EAST SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A security guard who was fatally shot outside a liquor store in East San Jose is being called a hero.

Manny Zuniga was shot at an East San Jose shopping center on North Capitol Avenue on Saturday night.

A vigil is planned for Monday evening in front of the liquor store where he was fatally shot.

ABC7 News was told the liquor store has really good surveillance video, which police now have.

Zuniga is being remembered as a hero because he's a person who took a bullet for another security guard.

The impromptu tribute to Zuniga outside the Liquor Four Less store continued growing. His car was still parked outside and became a part of that memorial.

Zuniga worked as a security supervisor at the Bboss Nightclub.

Sonny Gia owns the liquor store next door and as a favor to him, Zuniga kept an eye on his business.

That's what Zuniga was doing the night he was shot and killed.

Two men came into the liquor store shortly before 10 p.m. They bought a bottle of Cognac for $17.99. Then, one of them came back minutes later and snatched a display box of cheap cigarellos and ran out to a waiting car.

Zuniga was standing outside the nightclub when the man tripped and dropped the cigars as he entered the car. Then, Zuniga went to pick them up when someone in the car fired at him.

"He don't know they have gun in there. They got a gun ready to shoot and they shoot, boom, boom," Gia said.

One bullet smashed the store window and another round killed Zuniga.

Another security guard named Jon Morales was right behind Zuniga when the shooting began.

Morales' mother calls Zuniga a hero. "Manny jumped in the line of fire to save my son. He took his life for my son. And I will forever be grateful for him, to him, to his family, to his children," Sandra Morales said.

Gia says he cried when he heard Zuniga died at the hospital.

The box of cigars he says was worth maybe $20. "For $20, they can kill a human," he said.

Zuniga whose heroism saved another man's life, was murdered for a box of cheap cigars.

If you'd like to make a donation to help the family pay for funeral expenses, click here.
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