BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Friends of a Tehachapi man, now identified by the Kern County coroner as 57-year-old Kelly Rees Pitts, are in mourning after officials say he was gunned down by his ex-wife Wednesday.
Friends in the community said it was just before 2 p.m. on Wednesday when they heard a gun shot go off across the street.
Tehachapi PD officials responded to a shooting in the quiet neighborhood on Appaloosa Court and Burnett Road shortly after the call came in over the radio.
"Distressed female advised she just shot ex-husband N-F-D and then caller disconnected," a Tehachapi police dispatcher detailed in a recording obtained by 23ABC.
Tehachapi police said when they arrived to the home they found a man who was shot multiple times.
Pitts neighbor, Jason Miller, who lives across the street, says Pitts was also his friend.
"You know he didn't only help me he helped everybody, you know whether it was a car problem, a food problem, anything you know what I'm saying," Miller said.
Miller said he didn't know that Wednesday would be the last time he would get to wave hello to his friend of over 20 years.
"Yesterday I was doing some work at the neighbors house, and we heard his little ATV go by and we looked and he was right there waving," Miller explained. "He had his baby on the front and then it got quiet like this, and then me and my friend started talking and we heard a pop and both of us looked at each other and said that's a gun shot."
Later that night, police arrested 50-year-old Wendy Elizabeth Howard. Miller said Howard is also Pitts's ex-wife who lives four doors down from him.
Miller said Pitts leaves behind two sons, a daughter and two grandchildren, one of which waiting to meet.
"His life basically consisted of his boys and his daughter and his two new grand babies you know and the sad thing is he didn't even get to second grand baby." Miller added. "The baby still in the hospital and that's all he was waiting for to see that kid."
According to Miller he has seen police officers at Howard's residence four separate times since he has lived there, including the day right before the shooting. He said his friend would do anything for his kids and was doing his best to co- parent with Howard. According to court documents, Howard filed a restraining order against Pitts, citing domestic violence, in 2006.
"They would all go out there to Mojave, go dirt bike riding the kids would have their dirt bike riding things, you know Barbecue all together," Miller said.
Miller said it was unexpected, but that he will never forget the person his friend was.
"I've only met a certain amount of men like him in my life..he didn't deserve any of this," Miller said.