IRVINGTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A December family tradition turned tragic when a father was shot and killed in front of his wife and son in an apparent attempted robbery in New Jersey.

Marcos Angamarca-Yupa, 29, was gunned down Monday night as he returned home from prayer service at Saint Leo Church with his family in Irvington.

His older brother said Angamarca-Yupa had parked his car in his driveway when he, his wife, and 8-year-old son were approached by two gunmen around 11 p.m.

The victim’s wife told police the suspects pointed guns at her and her husband and demanded cash. Their eight year-old son tried to take off and the mother ran after him, CBS2’s Erin Logan reported.  That’s when her husband was fatally shot in the driveway.

“Somebody called me and when I come here, he was on the floor,” the victim’s brother said. “Police said don’t go over there. You can’t see, you can’t touch and you can’t do nothing.”

“I was with them 10 minutes before,” the victim’s godfather, Alberto Alvarez, said. “For me, it’s hard, it’s so hard. I don’t have any words to say.”

Alvarez said Angamarca-Yupa was a great husband and father. The family of three moved to New Jersey from Ecuador four years ago. Most recently, he was working construction.

“I can’t imagine how they can feel about it now,” said landlord Pedro Quezada. “They lost his father. The little child — he saw everything that happened.”

The victim’s family is now wondering, “Why him?”

“Maybe money? Maybe people hate Spanish? I don’t know,” Alvarez said.

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office believes the motive may have been robbery. They’re investigating in conjunction with Irvington police. No arrests have been made.

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