Jose Jesus Alvarez is fighting for his life at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri after police said he was beat up by three suspects who remain in jail.
It happened at the Brookhaven Apartments on Tuesday (June 18). Alvarez had just arrived home when the suspects allegedly beat and robbed him.
Alvarez’ family said he’s in a coma in critical condition and his injuries include brain trauma and internal bleeding. Alvarez’ wife Leonor has been staying by his side at the hospital.
"It's just sad that there isn't any more I can do,” said Jennifer Hernandez, Alvarez’ step-daughter. “It's just in God's hands, in doctors hands."
The family said he's a shy man who only worked and spent time with family.
"He took me in when I was seven years old and he's been my dad since then," Hernandez said.
The family said they've received a lot of support.
"We're just hoping that he will come out of this and then time can pass we can just remember this just as a bad nightmare," said Adriana Silva, a long-time family friend.
"We're very surprised the violence that this community has raised up," Silva said.
On Monday (June 24) one of the suspects home was the target of a drive-by shooting and the family said it could be retaliation for the alleged beating. However, Alvarez’ family said that’s not the case.
"Why is it automatically my family?” said Jennifer Hernandez, step-daughter. “My family has enough to deal with and honestly I don't think my family would want them to be in our shoes."
Hernandez said detectives questioned her about the drive-by shooting.
"I wish I can tell them who it was or what happened or why they did it, but I don't know," Hernandez said.
Silva said, “We are peaceful people, we don’t react that way. We don't fix things like that."
The family also wanted to clear up a rumor that Alvarez was associated with a gang. Hernandez said her dad is a strong and honest man fighting for his life who was never a gang member.
"If he lives or if he doesn't, I'm pretty sure he never gave up,” Hernandez said. “He never did."
Lt. Derek Hudson said if Alvarez dies, J-Donta Britt, Timmie Robinson and a minor’s charges may be upgraded to murder. The suspects remain in the Washington county jail on a $100,000 and $175,000 bond.