Armando Gamboa’s family described him as a loving, protective father. They believe that paternal instinct led to his death.
Gamboa, 23 was killed Sunday after he confronted a man who was driving fast through the Indian Hills Apartments, 4550 W. Sahara Ave., where Gamboa was visiting a friend.
Las Vegas police said Gamboa told the man to slow down because there were kids playing. The man got out of his car and the two started fighting, then the man stabbed Gamboa in the chest and drove away. He died at the scene.
Gamboa’s mother, Rosa Contreras, is disabled and can’t walk. Her son was her primary caretaker.
On Sunday morning, Contreras said, Gamboa came by to check on her and make sure she didn’t need anything. He kissed her on the forehead and said, “OK Mom, I’ll see you later, I love you.”
That night, Contreras saw a fatal stabbing on the news, and it was in the area where her son was. She was worried it was her son because she couldn’t get hold of him, and police confirmed her fears the next morning. She said she’s been in shock since.
“He was a good person, very kind-hearted,” Contreras said. “And that’s ultimately what led to this situation.”
Gamboa had two children, a 5-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son.
Maricela Martinez, the mother of Gamboa’s daughter, said he was a good dad, not only to his kids, but to all kids. She said it breaks her heart to see that paternal instinct lead to something like this.
“It’s an indescribable feeling to feel like you can’t help anyone else, because it could end like this,” Martinez said.
Gamboa’s son, who just turned 1, won’t remember him, Martinez said.
She urged anyone with information about his death to contact police.
“We just want justice for him, for his kids,” Martinez said.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for a memorial service. As on Wednesday afternoon, it had raised $930 of its $5,000 goal.
Angela Perez, a longtime family friend who considered Gamboa a cousin, said the tragedy has changed her approach to intervening in dangerous situations.
“Where I live, there are people driving through all fast all the time and I used to tell them, ‘Hey slow down, there are kids here,’” Perez said. “But now, I will never, ever, ever in my life yell at someone for driving too fast again. It’s safer to just ignore it.”