Mourners paid their respect and prayed at a memorial for Ricardo Ramírez Monday morning, as family and friends continue to raise funds for the funeral of the 17-year-old boy shot and killed around midnight Friday.
Two suspects –an adult man and a 16-year-old boy– were arrested Saturday in connection with the shooting in front of a shop on Wabash Avenue, just East of Evergreen. The 23-year-old man, identified as Joshua Gómez, and the juvenile were arrested around 3 pm Saturday and are being charged with murder, police told KTLA.
Officers found the young victim with multiple gunshot wounds shortly after midnight, and he was pronounced dead on the scene. A motive for the killing is unclear. While police say the incident may have been gang-related, the victim’s family say Ramírez was an innocent bystander.
“He was a loving son, brother, boyfriend and friend,” a family member wrote in a gofundme page set up for the funeral expenses. “He was innocent and suddenly killed after being caught in the crossfire of a shooting.”
“He was not part of any gangs,” Ramirez’s girlfriend, Sarah Vidovic, told KTLA. She told KABC that she spoke to Ramírez Friday night as he walked home from work, minutes before he was gunned down.
The family said that Friday was Ramírez’s second day at a new job as a dishwasher at a restaurant, and that his goal was to become a chef. He had stopped by a friend’s house after work and was steps away from his home when he was gunned down.
A car wash to raise funds for the family was held Sunday near the spot where Ramírez was shot, and where dozens of veladoras aligned with flowers, photos and multiple ofrendas formed a growing memorial for the boy. Several teens who stopped by Monday said they knew the young victim.
As of Monday, the gofundme page had raised just over $1,000 of a $15,000 goal.
Ramírez was the 11th person killed in Boyle Heights in 2019, according to published reports. All homicide victims were Latino males; all but two died from gunshot wounds. Ramírez was the second youngest person shot and killed this year in Boyle Heights; a 14-year-old boy died in March following a dispute police said was gang-related.