LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Candles outlined the entirety of John Dorotiak’s parked car, one of the many reminders of the ripple effect his impact had on the Las Vegas community and his family.

Dorotiak was shot and killed Sunday in front of the Dotty’s near Hualapai and Elkhorn where he worked as a bartender, one of two jobs he did to support his wife and 16-month-old daughter.

Metro police believe Mark Michael Ford, 36, was responsible in the Feb. 20, shooting death of Jessica Russo, 36, inside her home.

Court records show Ford was on parole at the time after being sentenced to life in prison back in 2003 for second-degree murder.

Ford is accused of shooting Dorotiak five days after Russo before taking his own life, according to a police report.

“We know that Jessica and John worked together at Lefty’s for a little while and also worked at Dotty’s and were friends,” Nicole Manning, Dorotiak’s niece, said. “John is a very caring person and he always looked out for others and I think he had heard from their community at work that she was involved with someone who was very dangerous, who was convicted of murder.”

Nicole Manning, John Dorotiak’s niece (KLAS)

Manning says her family is still trying to piece together why Dorotiak was targeted by Ford, and what was exactly discussed between the two Dotty’s employees.

John’s Legacy

Work ethic, humor and a love for his family these were at the heart of who John Dorotiak was according to his family.

“He could make anybody laugh,” Manning said. “If you knew him, you loved him.”

Dorotiak was a Dotty’s employee for ten years while also working at Lefty’s Pizza where he would playfully toss pizza dough at his young nephew, Cameron Dorotiak.

Cameron Dorotiak, John Dorotiak’s nephew (KLAS)

“We would make a little mess,” Cameron said. “He had these cars with loud music and as a kid I just loved it.”

Lefty’s Pizza closed shortly after Dorotiak left so that he could focus on his newborn daughter and the family he worked so hard for.

“He was the hardest worker in the room,” Cameron said. “It was a true effort for him to bring a kid into this world.”

Manning was a surrogate for Dorotiak and his wife, she says their child was a miracle for a family that was just beginning.

“She was a new love for both of them,” She said. “He was just really excited to be a dad.”

Family describing Dorotiak as the fun uncle who had a love for cars, loud music and fantasy sports—a diehard Chicago Bears fan.

“He was the cool guy in the family,” Manning said. “Even at 44 years old, still cool.”

The legacy Dorotiak leaves behind is still being written for the family that is coming to terms with the loss, but they hope the community will remember him as a caring man who would help anyone.

“I want the world to know what an amazing person has left this world,” Manning said. “I think a part of us has left with him.”

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