PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Police released the identity of the man killed in Portland's first homicide of the year.
They say 35-year-old Bryan Garcia was shot -- and found in the front seat of his car parked on Chadwick Street.
Public records show that Garcia was a lifetime registered sex offender, and that he had theft and drug charges.
But his friends say that's not the man they knew.
“He was a really funny person,” said Kirsten Gaddas, who says she was Garcia’s close friend. “He was an amazing artist. Oh my gosh - such a good rapper. And he was so good at putting music together on his own, like making his own music.”
To his friends – Bryan Garcia was known as "Kage."
“He was unbelievable,” said Gaddas. “He would literally give the shirt off of his back for anybody. And he was just so fun to be around. He was just so lively. It's just really sad that this had to happen.”
She says that in addition to being a good friend, Gaddas had lived with her for six months.
Garcia's criminal record in Maine is lengthy...
He was a lifetime registered sex offender, for two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in Maine.
Gaddas says that charge is a big misunderstanding, that Garcia told her years ago he dated a girl who lied about her age...and then charges were brought against him by her parents.
“He's not like some sicko that goes around messing with little kids,” she said. “That's not him. I for sure as heck wouldn't be having my kid around him if he was like that.”
Garcia also had charges for stolen firearms and unlawful possession of drugs.
But his friends say they never saw that side of him, and that he was a family man.
“If anything I could tell his mom - she doesn't know me - but I want her to know how much he loved his mom,” said Gaddas. “Like, he idolized her. He carried her picture around with him everywhere he went. He loved his mom.”
Multiple friends in Maine say they want their friend "Kage" to be remembered as the giving, funny, gifted musician that they say he was.
Garcia's family members called NEWS CENTER and said they are worried that his killer hasn't been arrested.
Police say this investigation is ongoing.
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