Miramar Marine NCO Shot and Killed Days Before Son's 1st Birthday

Cpl. Christopher Truax, a team leader with Security Forces Company, Marine Wing Support Squadron-373, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command, conducts a live-fire and maneuver range, July 18, 2016. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Danielle Rodrigues)
Cpl. Christopher Truax, a team leader with Security Forces Company, Marine Wing Support Squadron-373, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command, conducts a live-fire and maneuver range, July 18, 2016. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Danielle Rodrigues)

A man found shot to death in his car outside San Diego on Friday has been identified as a noncommissioned officer based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

Sgt. Christopher Allen Truax Jr., a 21-year-old food service specialist assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 373, was killed in a shooting in Lemon Grove, California, just after midnight early Friday morning.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office ruled his death a homicide. The incident is currently being investigated by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department and Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

"We join Sergeant Christopher Truax's family in mourning the loss of a loved one." Lt. Col. James Bauch, MWSS-373's commanding officer said in a statement. "He was a valued Brother-in-Arms to all who served with him and will be missed. We wish them comfort as they navigate the difficult days ahead."

Lemon Grove sheriff's deputies saw a man and woman inside a vehicle parked in middle of the street the night of Truax's death. When they investigated, they found Truax bleeding from what a witness described as a gunshot wound, according to the sheriff's department.

Deputies performed first aid until responders with the local fire department arrived, but Truax soon stopped breathing.

"Despite lifesaving efforts, the man was pronounced deceased at about 12:39 a.m.," a sheriff's department news release states. "The Sheriff's Homicide Unit was called to the scene and has taken over responsibility for the investigation."

In a message obtained by Fox 5 San Diego, Truax's wife, Alexia, said knowing she and their 11-month-old baby wouldn't be hearing from him again makes her go insane.

"It feels like a bad dream and I'm speechless," she said. "You didn't deserve this, Christopher, and you will forever be in my heart."

The couple's son Chris will turn 1 year old this week, the station reported.

Truax, originally from Horseheads, New York, joined the Marine Corps in 2014. He previously deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and his awards included the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Anyone with information about Truax's death is urged to call the San Diego Sheriff Department's Homicide Unit at (858) 285-6330. The department is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

--Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ginaaharkins.

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