Miguel Cruz was not trying to break into a Spanish Springs home when he was shot and killed Saturday, according to his family.
Instead, they said, he had gone to the home to retrieve his family's belongings from the house where he and his wife had been living for nearly a year.
Marcela Fierro, Cruz's wife, said the two met Jon Reynolds through mutual friends. They moved from Carson City in November into his house in the 6000 block of Hibiscus Court, where Fierro cooked and cleaned while Cruz did odd jobs around the house.
However, Fierro said the friendship ended when Reynolds began making romantic advances.
"It became an obsession," she said "He told me he would treat me like a queen. He made a lot of promises."
But, she said, she was never tempted. Cruz "was the love of my life."
"We were poor, but we were millionaires in love," she explained. "I'll love him forever."
She said Reynolds told Cruz he had to leave, but encouraged Fierro to stay. The couple moved out in June and returned to Carson City.
Fierro said she went back to the house to collect their personal belongings Saturday, but Reynolds told her he would not return her things until Cruz payed off a debt. Reynolds couldn't be reached Thursday to tell his side of the story, and police have not made public details of the shooting.
Cruz went to the home later Saturday. He didn't return that night, nor the next morning. Fierro drove to Reynolds' home to see if his car was still there, when, she said, Reynolds' girlfriend told Fierro that Cruz was dead.
It was reported as a home invasion.
"This was presented to us as an act of self-defense," said Deputy Darrin Rice, spokesman for the Washoe County Sheriff's Department. "But we haven't ruled anything out."
Although police haven't released details of the case, Fierro contends Cruz was not breaking in but was shot outside the front door.
Fierro is staying with the Stoner family in Carson City. Jennifer Stoner said the two were like parents to them and Cruz was godfather to their 1-year-old son.
"My baby will never know him," Jennifer Stoner said. "I have two other kids and they loved him. We don't know what to tell them.
"He was a real good guy."
Fierro said she is content in knowing that Cruz was happy and that many people loved him. But she is worried that it will be determined a justified homicide.
"If it had been reverse, Miguel would have been in jail for the rest of his life," she said. "Where is the justice? I don't have the words to describe the pain I feel."
- Contact reporter Teri Vance at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1272.