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Milwaukee man killed walking home from work

Posted at 5:06 PM, Sep 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-07 18:06:31-04

Mateo Cardenas-Aguilera was struck by a car and killed after he stepped out into the street from between two parked cars on Milwaukee's south side Tuesday night. 

Witnesses say two men approached Cardenas-Aguilera on the sidewalk and attempted to rob him. When he tried to escape into the street, he was hit by a passing car. It happened the night before his 35th birthday.

A donation box with Cardenas-Aguilera's photo on it now sits on the counter of the Arandas Taco Truck at 13th and Cleveland where he worked.

Money collected will go to help his two young daughters, and to send his body to Mexico to be buried near other family.

"His father wants his son buried in Mexico, and we're trying to make that happen," said Sandra Lopez, Cardenas-Aguilera's sister-in-law. "He was a happy person and very social. A good father and hard worker."

Cardenas-Aguilera moved to Milwaukee from Mexico 14 years ago. He has two brothers who also live here, who are now looking for more answers from Milwaukee Police.

The driver who hit Cardenas-Aguilera stayed on scene and is cooperating with investigators. What exactly led to Cardenas-Aguilera stepping into the street and getting hit is still under investigation. 

"Nothing can bring him back," Lopez said. "We just want justice."

This comes after more than five taco truck or taco-truck workers on Milwaukee's south side have been robbed in the past two weeks. No one is in custody for the robberies.

"Safety is a big concern," Lopez said. "This has to stop."

Cardenas-Aguilera's family set up a GoFundMe page in his honor.