Pinellas Park mother learns son was killed in attacks on homeless in CA

- As she looked through childhood pictures of her freckle-faced son, tears came to Linda Gramlick's eyes. She knew she would never see Shawn Longley's infectious smile again.

"I'll never be able to hug him and tell him I love him," said Gramlick.

Gramlick's 41-year-old son was one of four homeless men beaten in his sleep during the first week of July in California. Longley and one other victim died from their injuries.

Gramlick said her son was homeless by choice. He moved back to San Diego, his place of birth, just six months before he was killed.

"He liked being in different areas and doing different things, because he'd get so bored so fast," said Gramlick.

While Longley mostly kept to himself, Gramlick said every six to nine months he would check in with her to let her know he was OK. On July 4, she got a call from a San Diego police detective instead. 

"I said, 'Please don't tell me that my son is dead,'" Gramlick recalled. "He said, 'No, I have to inform you. He's dead. He's been murdered.'"

Longley's attacker beat him on his upper body as he slept at a park in Ocean Beach. Three miles away, another homeless man was found bleeding from wounds to his upper body. He was rushed to the hospital.

Earlier in the week, two other homeless men were found beaten in their sleep. One was killed and set on fire.

"These evil acts of violence are some of the worst that I've seen in my 34 years of law enforcement," said San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman during the search for a suspect.

That search ended Thursday when officers arrested 36-year-old Anthony Padgett. He was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

"I call him a monster because, to me, in my mind, that's what he is... a vicious monster," Gramlick said.

While she said her heart aches for her son, she also feels pain for the other victims targeted because they were homeless.

"Just because you're homeless, that's no reason to be made fun of, attacked, and especially not killed," she said.

Gramlick said she plans to travel to California to be in court if Padgett faces trial.

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