FAIRFIELD, Calif. — Fairfield police are warning people who make purchases from online meetup sites after a man was recently shot and killed in a "robbery gone wrong."
According to a Facebook post from the Fairfield Police Department, officers responded to calls of a man down along the 1000 block of Tyler Street around noon on Thursday. When officers arrived, they found a 19-year-old man with gunshot wounds. Police say he died on scene.
During their investigation, police say they learned the man was in the process of meeting someone from OfferUp to buy a car that was for sale.
The following day, Friday, police say they arrested Kamaria Strange, 24, of San Pablo. She was arrested on a homicide charge and was booked into the Solano County Jail. Jail documents indicate Strange is being held without bail.
The parents of the victim say his name was Michael Lopretta.
Michael Lopretta, who shares the same name as his son, told ABC10 that they both looked up the car together and said the agreed price was $7,000 for a 2013 BMW 5 series. His parents said it was his dream car, and he's been saving up for for years.
"My last call with him was 11:15 and he was excited," Lopretta said. "He was with this person or people and no fear, excited. 'Dad, they're gonna go smog it and then we're gonna meet back so they can make the deal'. And 11:15 is the last time I talked to him."
Jessica Treat, his mother, told ABC10 that he graduated from Benicia High School this year and wanted to become a history teacher.
"He wanted everyone to do well and just didn't have a mean bone in his body and accepted anything good or bad, just a wonderful person," Treat said.
His parents say he loved baseball especially the San Francisco Giants. They are incredibly proud of him and the man he had become.
"Just incredibly proud I am of him and the four of us raised this incredible human" Treat said.
His father said he went back to the neighborhood where his son was found dead and met with the person who called 911.
"They initially thought somebody was asleep on the sidewalk and then they walked up and felt his hand and his hand was cold," Lopretta said. "For some reason it was comforting, I don't know why, but it was comforting knowing that somebody was there with him for a period of time."
If you plan to buy something from someone, the Fairfield police say it's best to conduct the actual transaction in a public place. The Fairfield Police Department has an on-site Safe Exchange Zone that's monitored with 24-hour surveillance for those who wish to meet at a safe location for private sales.
"The Police Department encourages the use of Safe Exchange Zones for buyers and sellers of OfferUp, Craigslist, LetGo and other e-commerce apps," the Fairfield Police Department says on its website.
Fairfield Police's Safe Exchange Zone is in the parking lot next to the police station at 1000 Webster Street in Fairfield.
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