San Diego police are continuing to search for a group of men linked to the fatal shooting a man during a Lake Murray area home invasion robbery.
Brent Adler, 33, was found dead Wednesday afternoon in front of a home in the 8500 block of Tommy Drive, according to police.
Adler had suffered at least one gunshot wound to the upper body and died at the scene, police said. He apparently interrupted a home invasion in progress.
One day after his death, family and friends remained in shock and were grief-stricken over the tragedy.
April Sihavong, a former classmate who now tends bar at Pal Joey's cocktail lounge in Allied Gardens, called Adler a carefree, caring person; coming in often and wearing a smile.
"He's a regular there; everyone loves him there. He's always been so positive; just smiling, always respectful. Never any drama," Sihavong said.
Ashley Adler, the victim's sister, told 10News, "When he walked in the door, he saw his two friends tied up and blindfolded, so of course he was going to try to protect them and I believe that's why he got the brutal end of it."
No one else was injured, and police are looking for four or five men who may have escaped the scene in a green Ford Expedition. They are considered armed and dangerous.
Ashley Adler has no idea what led to the violence, but she's giving it thought.
"You can't rule anything out at this point. There were shady people that he was in prison for 12 years," she told 10News.
She said Adler was released a few years ago.
"It was armed robbery. He was 17; couple of his buddies robbed a smoke shop," she said.
She and others said he'd turned his life around. He restored cars, and Facebook videos shows he was a Chargers fan who liked to dance.
"Life of the party; Everyone loved him, having him around," his sister said.
The family set up a GoFundMe account in his name to help offset funeral and celebration of life costs.