‘Truly selfless’ dad shot, killed after fender bender at Walmart, California family says

This past Christmas, one of Jonathan Mauk’s three sons gifted him a dehydrator.

A “meat and potato kind of guy,” Mauk often used it to make beef jerky, his eldest son, Matthew Mauk, told McClatchy News in a phone interview on Feb. 13.

The 59-year-old, who lived in the same San Bernardino home his mother bought in the 1970s, drove to a nearby Walmart in Highland to pick up some more curing salt to make a new batch along with his favorite soda, Pepsi, Matthew Mauk said.

As he was backing up his car in the parking lot the evening of Feb. 5, though, he hit a car behind him, Matthew Mauk said witnesses told him.

Jonathan Mauk got out of his car, his son said.

“He was apologizing, admitting fault, and the person turned around and shot him,” Matthew Mauk said.

Jonathan Mauk died on scene, San Bernardino Police Capt. Nelson Carrington told The Press-Enterprise.

The San Bernardino Police Department didn’t immediately responded to McClatchy News’ request for comment on Feb. 13.

The suspect, identified as Shawntece Marie Norton, drove away but was arrested the following day, San Bernardino police told KCAL News.

Norton, 37, is being held without bail and is facing a murder charge, according to online jail records.

At her arraignment, Norton pleaded not guilty, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office said in an email to McClatchy News. She is expected to appear in court again on Feb. 15.

Matthew Mauk said it is hard for his family “to think about what we need to do next” after his dad was killed in a “senseless act of violence.”

“(Norton) took away a person way before he was ready to leave this planet,” Matthew Mauk said. “He had a lot of love left to give. I’m looking at my family. It’s completely broken.”

Mauk said his father was “truly selfless.”

“There is no sacrifice he wouldn’t make for his family,” Mauk said.

Jonathan Mauk was a car enthusiast, according to his son.
Jonathan Mauk was a car enthusiast, according to his son.

Jonathan Mauk was an “automotive enthusiast.”

“The earliest memories with my dad are always car-related,” Matthew Mauk said. “To every car that he built when I was little, to my first car we built when I was 18. We’ve always done car stuff together.”

If he saw someone with the hood of their car up, he would offer help, according to Matthew Mauk.

“He knew no limit as to what he would do to help other people,” his son said, “and that’s just how he lived his entire life.”

Jonathan Mauk pictured with his granddaughter.
Jonathan Mauk pictured with his granddaughter.

While Jonathan Mauk didn’t like being called a “grandpa,” because it made him feel old, Matthew Mauk said he adored every moment of being with his 10-year-old grandson and 5-year-old granddaughter.

A couple days after his father died, Matthew Mauk said the family found a letter that he wrote when he got sick a couple of years back and was worried he wouldn’t make it.

“He outlined a message to every single one of us,” Matthew Mauk said. “In the letter, he wanted his granddaughter to know that he loved her more than anything in the world.”

Mauk said he hopes no other family has to endure what his family is going through now.

“There’s a hole in our hearts that can never be filled,” the son said.

Highland is about 65 miles east of Los Angeles.

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