Patrol cars surrounded Victor Saucedo's Imperial Beach apartment building Tuesday, but it wasn't the first time the sheriff's department was called to his home.
Before his shooting death, a local San Diego County sheriff’s deputy suggested Saucedo get a restraining order against his ex-girlfriend, Vegas Bray, who now stands accused of first-degree murder.
The deputy suggested a restraining order April 18 around 1 a.m. after peanut butter was smeared on Saucedo's front door and windows.
"It can be argued whether or not a restraining order would have stopped that situation. But at least if there’s a restraining order on file, we could arrest her for coming near him,” said Lt. Marco Garmo, who runs the Imperial Beach substation.
Emergency protective orders can be filed in some cases, he said, but even if an order was filed, beyond calling 911, there may not be much deputies can do to stop a determined shooter.
"If someone wants to shoot you, they're going to shoot you," he said.
Saucedo's property was vandalized eight times and reported to sheriff deputies five times, said Lt. Glenn Giannantonio with the sheriff's Homicide Unit.
His car tires were slashed twice, his apartment was egged multiple times and a jar was thrown through his window.
Since it could not be proven that she was responsible, no charges were ever filed against Bray, Giannantonio said, which may be the reason why he never got a restraining order.
"Him telling a judge 'I think she 's doing it' is probably not enough to get a judge to issue a restraining order," he said.
A memorial service was held Wednesday evening at the foot of the pier to honor Saucedo, a Navy veteran who was shot and killed in his apartment next to the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center.
Hours later his ex-girlfriend Bray, 24, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
Bray will be arraigned Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the South Bay Courthouse in Chula Vista.
Stephanie Stratton, the maternal grandmother of Saucedo's 6-year-old son Jeremiah, said "the police didn't do a thing to help him."
"Now, this child has to grow up without his father in his life. That is the saddest thing when you wake up in the morning and tell him that his daddy is not going to pick him up.", Stratton told Fox 5 and a crowd of about 60 people. A second candlelight vigil is scheduled Thursday at 6 p.m.
Friends also said they believe the sheriff's department didn't take Saucedo seriously because it was a woman harassing a man.
Sheriff records state that Saucedo did not file a restraining order.
Stratton told U-T San Diego that Saucedo got a life insurance policy two weeks ago and tried to get a restraining order, but he was told he didn't have enough evidence.
Restraining orders are approved or denied by the San Diego County Superior Court. Individuals who are under a restraining order are not allowed to posses a firearm.
Garmo said he wasn’t sure if Saucedo was ever physically intimidated by the woman.
“He was a pretty big guy, and she was pretty small,” Garmo told IB Patch.
Still, he emphasized that all domestic disturbances are treated the same.
"I can't tell you how many times we take women to jail for domestic violence," he said. "We don't differentiate, whether it's a gay couple or female on male, it's all the same to us."
Discrimination can threaten a deputy's job and livelihood, Garmo said.
"There's no deputy sheriff out there that's not going to arrest a woman or not take it seriously," he said.