The father of a 27-year-old man who worked for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) said his son wanted to "make the world better," that he worked tirelessly in the community and stayed focused on politics.
But on Sunday morning in Washington, D.C., Seth Conrad Rich, the DNC's voter expansion data director, was fatally shot. Police have told the family that he may have been the victim of an attempted robbery.
"If it was a robbery, it wasn’t successful because the police have all his belongings -- cell phone, wallet, credit cards, money," said Joel Rich in an interview on ABC News' "Good Morning America."
Rich was shot several times near his home in the Bloomingdale neighborhood, where there were no witnesses to the shooting. The Omaha, Nebraska, native was conscious and breathing at the scene, but officials said that he died a short time later at a local hospital.
He wanted to "make a difference, do good things, treat people fairly, and try to make the world better," his father remembered.
Rich, who graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, had worked in his current capacity with the DNC since June 2014. He had previously held various political jobs and worked on Democrats' campaigns, including a time on the team of former Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska), for the U.S. Census Bureau and as a boating instructor at a summer camp, according to his LinkedIn page.
"He was a caring person and he wanted to make a difference. Unfortunately those visions, those ideas are going to have to be unfulfilled," his father said.
Rich was talking on his cell phone with his girlfriend when she heard noise on his end of the line, his family said. There was some noise, but Rich had told his girlfriend not to be concerned and the call ended.
"We may never know what actually happened," said his mother, Mary Rich.
She added that her son often told her to always "laugh" and "make the most of every moment because you never know when the next moment isn’t going to exist."
DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued a statement on Monday mourning the loss of Rich.
"Our hearts are broken with the loss of one of our DNC family members over the weekend. Seth Rich was a dedicated, selfless public servant who worked tirelessly to protect the most sacred right we share as Americans – the right to vote," Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.
"He saw the great potential of our nation and believed that, together, we can make the world a better place. He was a joy to have as a member of our team, and his talents, intelligence and enthusiasm will be deeply missed by the many friends, colleagues and co-workers who worked by his side in service to the highest ideals of our democracy," Wasserman Schultz said. "We send our deepest heartfelt sympathies to Seth’s family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers as we try to pick up the pieces and carry on the work that was so important to Seth and to us."
Rich's murder remains unsolved. Police are searching the area for surveillance video footage, reaching out to the public for more information, and a reward of up to $25,000 is being offered.