To his friends and family, 63-year-old Abdolvahab Alaghmandan was a devoted husband and father with the biggest heart and the best sense of humor.
To his son's girlfriend, Megan Staker, he was like a second father. She spoke to him just days before he was killed in the mass shooting at a Valley Transportation Authority rail yard in San Jose.
"He was driving home from work and he was really happy because it was his Friday," Staker said. "He had the next two days off, and we were talking about what he was going to do, and I told him I loved him."
Staker said he went by "Abdi," a man who left Iran in the 1990s for a better life in the United States with his wife and two boys.
Staker said he worked for VTA for about two decades and knew the man who killed him and eight other co-workers. They worked together at the rail yard for several years and never had any issues before.
"I don’t know why he would do this to Abdi," Staker said. "Abdi was the nicest guy. He wanted to help everyone…We’re not only dealing with the loss of someone so important in our lives, we’re dealing with thinking about what happened to him and how he died. Was he scared?"
Staker now cherishes the memories of her boyfriend's father, especially a trip with the family to Sea Ranch where she bonded with him over a jigsaw puzzle. She said he was a handyman who could fix anything, but the puzzle was a struggle.
"We literally worked on that together the whole time," Staker said. "We would wake up and work on it and stay up late to work on it. He was complaining about how he never wanted to do a jigsaw puzzle ever again."