Agustin Coyotl, 44, was killed Monday morning when a man leading Oakland police on a chase crashed into his car.
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- One day after 44-year-old Agustin Coyotl was killed, his family is speaking out. His niece said Agustin was more than an uncle. To her, he was like her second dad.
"I left to go to Santa Cruz and then that was the last time I heard from him. One or two hours later, my dad called me and said your uncle is dead," said Arely Guarneros, the victim's niece.
Guarneros remembers seeing her uncle Sunday night. She wants him to be remembered by his generous heart.
"As a joyful person. As someone who was loving and caring. As someone who cared for all of us. He would sacrifice his own happiness for us to be happy. He would help us. He was just an amazing uncle," said Guarneros.
Coyotl was just seconds from arriving at his job. His coworkers heard the crash just minutes before 7 a.m. on Monday. When they looked across the street and asked the police officer on scene if the person was Coyotl, their hearts sank.
"It was really bad. Yes. So sad. He still had a long life ahead of him," said Cesar Ramirez, one of Coyotl's coworkers at the Bayview Environmental Services.
During a press conference on Monday, OPD's Chief LeRonne Armstrong confirmed the suspect who crashed into Coyotl is 23-year-old Jonathan Hernandez. He was being chased by officers after being accused of flashing a gun during a hit-and-run on Friday.
"This pursuit is being investigated by the department and will go before a review board to determine if it complied with policy or not," said Chief Armstrong.
Kareem Mahgoub lives in the area and said he missed the crash by two minutes.
"I was getting off work and making the same turn. He was making a right and I was going to be making that left so it could've been anybody. That is the tragic thing," said Mahgoub.
Hernandez was arrested after the crash and the officers involved in the chase have been placed on administrative leave. Coyotl's family is still questioning why the police pursuit ended with his death.
"I felt like my world fell down. I felt like I was losing my best friend. It's just a feeling where you are in shock, you're in disbelief. And you say, 'oh it can't be.' I was neglecting the idea that he was dead and I was like, 'no he is not dead, he can't be, I was waiting for him to come back and he is never coming back," said Guarneros.
The family opened a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses.
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