Stephen Perez Jr. had been in some of the most dangerous places in the world over the last few years during his military service, and every time he lived to tell the tale.
With bullets routinely buzzing round him during his time as an Army sniper in Iraq and Afghanistan, the 22-year-old kept his wits and kept his life.
When he was â€œover there,â€ his family in Revere routinely worried for his safety.
They prayed for him and they thought of him every day.
Once he got back home, no one would ever believe that they would have to continue those thoughts and prayers, but it would prove to be the case, as he was brutally shot down on the streets of Boston last weekend.
Family members and Boston Police are looking for answers this week as to how and why the Iraq and Afghanistan veteran from Revere was shot in the back after leaving a nightclub in Bostonâ€™s Theatre District last Saturday morning.
So far, there are no good answers for family, friends or authorities.
Family members, in tears, have told members of the media from their home that they are having trouble grasping the idea that Perez died at home after serving so valiantly in such dangerous circumstances while in the military.
Boston Police are calling for help in identifying the shooter, and have indicated that there might be witnesses. Police have said there could have been an altercation after Perez left the club around 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, but at the same time, Perez appeared to have been shot in the back at a Tremont Street parking lot. By all indications, it appeared he was walking away from the scene.
Perez had reportedly spent several years in Winthrop before his family moved to Roland Road in Revere. He attended Revere High School (RHS) for two years and graduated in 2007 from RHS.
After returning from his last tour of duty some time ago, Perez was focusing on a law enforcement career with the Revere Police.
While attending Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC), Perez took the Civil Service exam and was online to become a Revere Police Officer.
Sgt. Amy Oâ€™Hara told the Journal that they were in the process of hiring Perez, that he had come up on the list and only had to come in and sign his acceptance card.
He was never able to do that, she said.
She also indicated that a few officers on the Revere Police Department had been friendly with Perez.
At Mondayâ€™s City Council meeting, Councillor Jessica Ann Giannino called for a moment of silence for Perez and mentioned that he had been a classmate of hers at RHS.