Eli Ramirez still expects his baby brother to come home.
“I know he’s not going to come back, but I’m waiting for him to come through the door and say, ‘Hey bro, you got a beer?’” he said in an interview with Patch Monday.
His brother, Anthony Francisco Ramirez, 34, was shot and killed late Saturday night.
According to Union City police, the shooting occurred just before 11 p.m. in the middle of the 33600 block of Eighth Street. Officers responded to the scene and found Ramirez’s body lying in the driveway of a home. He was pronounced dead at the scene, said Lt. Ben Horner of the UCPD.
A small memorial with flowers and a photo of the Virgin Mary sits where his body was found, just a short distance from his home.
Ramirez had no connection to residents of the home where the incident occurred, according to police and relatives.
There was no description of possible suspects as of Monday afternoon, Horner said. The shooting doesn’t appear to be gang-related either, he said.
As he often did, Ramirez, who was born and raised in the Decoto neighborhood, went for a walk Saturday night, family members said. It was the last time his parents saw him.
“He never did any harm to anyone,” said his cousin, Gilbert Ramirez. “All he wanted was to live his life in peace.”
Standing on the porch of the Ramirez household, Eli Ramirez greeted his brother’s friends and relatives as they streamed in and out of the home.
“He was so nice,” Eli Ramirez said. “We couldn’t believe it.”
He said more than 100 people stopped by to pay their respects Sunday and Monday.
Ramirez’s loved ones shared fond memories of the man they called “Cookie,” a nickname given to him by his Aunt Rosie when he was 2 years old. “His eyes got really big like the Cookie Monster when he saw a cream puff, cookie or piece of cake,” his brother said.
He also loved to cook, which led to people calling him “Cook” or “Cook Cook,” Eli said.
Ramirez remembers his baby brother as being “a big goofball”—a fact that made Anthony Ramirez’ girlfriend of four years, Lisa Fuentez, smile.
“Cook was very open-hearted, very loving,” Fuentez said. “He was a great guy, he was always happy. He had a good effect on people and always left an imprint.”
A professional handyman, Ramirez was a jack-of-all-trades who was always eager to lend a helping hand, friends and relatives said. He also loved to make things with his hands and take things apart, Eli Ramirez said.
“Sometimes he’d put it back together right, sometimes he didn’t,” his brother joked.
Ramirez also loved music. Fuentez said she could hear her boyfriend blasting everything from Mexican folk songs to oldies from her home a block away. He also played guitar—or “tried to,” Eli joked.
As family members continued to gather at the Ramirez residence Monday, Eli Ramirez said the family is hoping they’ll find closure soon.
“I just want an answer,” Ramirez’s older brother, Eli, said. “I just want to know why anyone would do this to him. He was so young.
“I’ll always keep a beer in the fridge for him."