Beloved Special Education Teacher Killed in Attempted Carjacking in California: 'He Was a Superhero'

Beloved Special Education Teacher Killed in Attempted Carjacking in California: 'He Was a Superhero'

A beloved special education teacher and father was gunned down and killed during an attempted carjacking last week in Long Beach, California.

Jaime Perez, 55, was found unresponsive in his Nissan Xterra by police on Tuesday morning with gunshots to his upper torso, the Long Beach Police Department said in a press release on December 1.

The press release stated that Jaime was transported to a local hospital, "where he later succumbed to his injuries."

Tragically, as the incident happened by his home, his youngest son, Daniel Perez, 23, had rushed to his dad's side to find his father slumped over the wheel, the Long Beach Post reports.

According to police, Jaime had been sitting in his parked car, about to pull away from the curb, when the suspected shooter pulled up next to him. Two suspects got out of that car and approached Jaime, who then accelerated from the curb.

That's when "at least one suspect immediately began firing gunshots at the victim before running back to the suspect vehicle and fleeing," police said.

Jaime, who had been shot, then "turned his vehicle around and pursued the suspect’s southbound on Eucalyptus Avenue, terminating in a traffic collision between the suspects’ and victim’s vehicles."

The suspects confronted Jaime a second time, now at the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and Wardlow Road. Police said that "witnesses observed at least one suspect shooting at the victim's vehicle before fleeing southbound Magnolia Avenue."

A GoFundMe campaign has been created to raise money for Jaime's funeral expenses, and loved ones describe the father of four as "beloved by all that knew him."

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"Jaime always had a passion for teaching and worked endlessly to do so; he worked as a Special Education Teacher for Compton Unified School District for 25 years," wrote Jaime's daughter-in-law, Cynthia Perez, in the GoFundMe. "Anyone who has had the good fortune of having had their lives touched by Jamie is better for it."

Jaime's son Calvin Perez told the Long Beach Post that his dad "was always fighting back."

"Even as a teenager, he always fought for what was right," Calvin said, adding, "He was a superhero in my eyes."

"He was always on a higher path," Calvin added of Jaime, who was 10 years sober. "For us, for himself."

Jaime worked in the Los Angeles Unified School District before joining the Compton Unified School District, where he worked for the past decade. He got his start in special education after volunteering at Banning High School to teach those learning English shortly after his graduation from Cal State Long Beach, the Long Beach Post reports.

Calvin explained to the outlet that having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Jaime wanted to pursue a career in which he could help others suffering from the same thing.

Jaime, who had worked in education for a quarter-century, was close to retirement and died just days before he and his wife Susanna Perez would celebrate their 34-year wedding anniversary on December 12.

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