Tudev, 53, rose every morning at 5 a.m. to begin his two-hour drive to Advanced Granite Solutions from his home in Arlington, Va.
He worked long hours, his daughter said, in pursuit of his American dream: Tudev hoped to one day open a granite business of his own, which he could pass on to his three children.
“It’s hard to believe this happened,” said his daughter Suvd Bayarsaikhan, 26. “But I know I have to stay strong.”
She said she draws strength from her belief that her father is in a better place now. Tudev chose to be baptized in April at the Washington Mongolian Church, where he was an active member.
“He chose the eternal life,” said church chairwoman Oyuna Ganbold. “He was a lovely, humble role model to many youngsters.”
Even after long days at work, Bayarsaikhan said, her father would come home and try to learn new gospel songs on his guitar. Beyond religious music, Tudev loved listening to the Beatles.
“Because of my dad, it really influenced me and my brothers to be more musical,” Bayarsaikhan said. “We all play instruments and love to sing.”
The family immigrated to the United States in 2005, and Tudev began working at Advanced Granite Solutions a few years ago. His daughter said that her father worried about Prince and would talk about his temper.
“He would come home and say things about the man,” she said. “He would say that there is a man at work who seems very cold-hearted and doesn’t get along with people.”
Tudev's widow, Gerelmaa Dolgorsuren, told the Associated Press that her husband was so concerned about Prince that he brought his name up in church prayer sessions. She said he described Prince's volatile temper several times.
Prince "was always angry," she said her husband told her.
Tudev always made his family laugh, and planned to soon apply for U.S. citizenship, his daughter said. Bayarsaikhan said her father was soft-hearted and friendly, and had “truly accepted Jesus into his heart.”
“I’m sad but at the same time, I don’t want to be sad because I know he’s in heaven with God right now,” she said. “He’s in a better place where there is no hurtful feelings and no bad. Only good.”
Hidalgo Romero, who went by Oscar, also was remembered for his devotion to his church.
The Rev. Jose Orellana, the pastor of the Church of Pentecost in Aberdeen, wanted to appear strong for his congregation during a memorial service Thursday, but in a back room he broke down. Tears streamed down his face as he spoke of his friend, who helped him found the church three years ago.
“No mas cerca angel,” he said. No one could be closer to an angel.
Friends said Hidalgo Romero, an Aberdeen resident and a prominent member of the Latino community there and in Edgewood, worked hard and shared what he made with others, believing that God had provided him with everything. Part of his salary from Advanced Granite Solutions went to help pay the church’s rent, and he worshipped there many days of the week.
With much of his family — his wife, child, and brothers and sisters — back in El Salvador, the country he’d left 13 years ago, his church became his surrogate family.
“He was my brother in Christ,” said his friend, Marta Dia, who regularly attended services with him.
Hidalgo Romero, whom police said was 34 but friends said was 32, has two brothers in the U.S. They live in Aberdeen, and struggled Thursday to find words to express their grief. Things like this just don’t happen in El Salvador, said one of them, Henri Alexander Hidalgo Romero, 29.
Mrvoljak served in the Bosnian army during the Bosnian War in the early 1990s. His friend, Bojan Brkic, said it is sad that he survived that violent conflict, only to be killed at work.
“He didn’t deserve it,” Brkic said.
Mrvoljak, 48, of Abingdon had made a career working in granite, starting in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brkic said. Mrvoljak and his wife moved to Maryland around 2002, but she returned to Bosnia because she was homesick. He said the couple continued to visit each other and that Mrvoljak had planned to return to Eastern Europe to spend the holidays with her.
She was expected to fly into Washington Dulles International Airport on Thursday night.
Brkic said the couple did not have children but had many friends.
“He was the guy you never see mad or upset with anyone,” Brkic said.
Mrvoljak had worked previously for Milestone Granite and Marble Counters in Lansdowne but later went to work for Advanced Granite Solutions. He previously lived in Dundalk, but had recently moved to a townhouse in Abingdon, Brkic said.
No one answered the door at the Abingdon home Thursday afternoon.
When word spread about the shooting, Brkic said, a friend tried to call Mrvoljak’s cellphone repeatedly until a police officer answered and informed the friend of the shooting. Brkic said he refused to believe his friend was among the victims until he heard the names on the news.
He said Mrvoljak loved cookouts with friends, music and sports.
“He liked it here” in Maryland, Brkic said. “He was always a happy guy. He was something else.”
Burak Caba, the owner of Advanced Granite Solutions, said Prince was a machine operator, and Tudev, Romero and Mrvoljak were granite polishers.
Caba said Tudev, Romero and Mrvoljak were all “the nicest people.”
“They never even raised their voices to their co-workers,” he said. “They were peaceful, happy people.”
Baltimore Sun Media Group reporters Jessica Anderson, Christina Tkacik, Thalia Juarez and Kevin Rector contributed to this article.