Two people identified as victims in an Orange County shooting rampage Tuesday morning had no connection and little in common, police indicated, except for being in the gunman’s line of fire.
Both died in attacks for which authorities have no discernible motive.
Only sketchy portraits of the men emerged from public records, interviews and social media on Tuesday. A third victim had not been identified by police.
MELVIN LEE EDWARDS
The first roadside victim Tuesday was Melvin Edwards, 69, who was ordered out of his car, directed to the curb and then shot, police said.
The Vietnam War veteran apparently was driving to work at the business he owns, Rubicon Gear, an aerospace and defense industry manufacturer founded by his father, J.L. Edwards. Melvin Edwards was chairman of the board and majority shareholder for more than 25 years.
A graduate of La Salle High School in Pasadena and briefly a student at USC, Edwards later was an Army combat infantry officer and served in Vietnam, according to his company’s website.
Known to most as Mel, Edwards lived in a quiet Laguna Hills neighborhood. He is survived by his wife, an adult daughter and an adult son, said a Santa Ana police corporal.
A short time later, police said, Jeremy Lewis, 26, was shot and killed while sitting in a vehicle at a construction site where he worked near Edinger and Newport avenues in Tustin. When a coworker ran over, the gunman threatened the other man and shot him in the arm.
A plumber by trade, Lewis was happiest when working on his cars, he wrote on his Instagram profile. He recently purchased a 1993 Nissan 300ZX and proudly displayed photos of the black sports car.
When he wasn’t under the hood of a car, Lewis often could be found at the gym. In addition to spending time with family and friends, he wrote, he loved to go camping and watch movies.
Public records list Lewis’ address as an upstairs apartment south of downtown Fullerton.
Lewis originally was from Morongo Valley and graduated from Yucca Valley High School in 2004, according to a Facebook profile.
As friends from high school and beyond learned of his death, they posted messages expressing disbelief at a life suddenly cut short.
Register staff writers Michael Mello and Alejandra Molina contributed to this report.
By BROOKE EDWARDS STAGGS and CLAUDIA KOERNER/ ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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