(NBC) - Police in Houston, Texas say a carjacking victim shot Thursday may have been shot for his car's rims.
Harris County sheriff's deputies said Ricardo Romero was shot twice at about 7:30 a.m.
He died a short time later.
"He was a father. He was trying to do right in life. He'd wake up every morning and go to work," said the victim's cousin, who did not want to be identified.
Investigators said a robber was after Romero's vehicle: a 2003 lime green Ford Taurus with a mural of a mermaid on the hood.
Deputies said the robbers may have been after his 1984 Cadillac spoke rims, also known as "swangaz" or "swangs."
"I'd say don't buy them because people are hijacking these cars just for the wheels. That's it," said Sgt. Roger Wedgeworth of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
"I feel devastated because he was a hard-working man. He didn't do any drugs. He just worked, came home. He had a family. He was just trying to live his American dreams," friend Hidro Martinez said.
Family members said Romero leaves behind a 2-year-old son.
"It's not like the baby's small. He knows his father. He sees him every morning. He gets happy. He's a joyful kid," the cousin said. "It was pointless. It was pointless."
A 3-year-old girl, Charissa Powell, was also killed during a carjacking attempting in March.
Police said Powell's family car had rims similar to Romero's.
Two men have been charged with capital murder in that case.