SAN JOSE -- As colleagues mourned the death of paramedic Quinn Boyer, his family on Friday spoke out for the first time, saying his killing has left "a gash in our hearts that will never heal."
In the short statement, Boyer's family said his organs will be donated to patients in need, continuing his history of helping others.
They also asked anyone with information about the Tuesday shooting in the Oakland hills to contact the Oakland Police Department.
"We ask for your support and prayers, and your respect for our privacy during this difficult time," the unsigned statement read.
Meanwhile, a modest but growing memorial adorned the front lawn of Rural/Metro Ambulance headquarters to honor the memory of the 34-year-old Boyer, who died Thursday. Friends, family, and fellow paramedics had been hoping he might pull through Tuesday's shooting.
"Everybody is still in shock and going through the grievance process," said Brian Hubbell, operations manager for the nearly 270 emergency medical services specialists working in Santa Clara County.
Boyer, a Dublin resident, worked as a paramedic for the county since 2008, with a stellar reputation on the job.
"He was loved by everybody. He was a great paramedic and amazing caregiver," Hubbell said. "It's not just a loss for EMS, but a true loss for the community he served."
The statement from Boyer's family says they will "miss him terribly and will never be the same."
Boyer, the family said, grew up in Oakland and graduated from Sonoma State University, the Santa Rosa Fire Academy and Foothill College's paramedic program. He had recently been accepted into the physician's assistant program at Stanford.
Boyer was also a Big Brother and a volunteer at the Order of Malta clinic in Oakland.
Oakland police said Boyer had taken his father to a doctor's appointment Tuesday morning and was stopped at Keller Avenue and Hansom Drive about noon when someone pulled up alongside and shot him in the head at point-blank range.
Boyer accelerated and his Honda Civic went over a median strip and crashed into a ravine, police said. Emergency crews rushed him to the hospital, but he never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead Thursday afternoon.
Police have been tight-lipped about the shooting, including possible motives, suspects and a car description. Whether he was targeted or attacked at random also remains unclear. The stretch of Keller is typically isolated during the time of day when he was shot.
Boyer is the second Santa Clara County paramedic to be the victim of a high-profile attack in as many years: Bryan Stow was savagely beaten outside Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles after the 2011 opening-day game between the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. Stow suffered severe brain damage and continues to receive treatment.
Meanwhile, grief counselors have been made available to the Santa Clara paramedic crew, but even in this time of mourning, duty calls.
"You can't just shut down for the day. It's tough, but we're surrounded by amazing, professional people who recognize the dedication to the field and what they do," Hubbell said. "They're committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of the community."
Boyer's family thanked Highland Hospital, where he was taken after being shot.
"We are humbled by the love and support shown by our extended EMS family, including hospital staff, police, sheriff departments, fire departments, and of course the paramedics and EMTs," the family said. "We consider you all our brothers and sisters."
There is a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the shooter. Anyone with information can contact Oakland police at 510-238-3821 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572 or 510-777-3211.
Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.