Man checking mail killed by stray bullet in Richmond; family says he was never angry

Richmond Police are investigating six shootings in three days that left two people dead.

One of the victims was 57-year-old Miguel Ramirez of Richmond who was hit by a stray bullet outside him home. Ramirez’s family said he was outside checking his mail around 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday when he was hit by a bullet in the back of his head.

Richmond Police said they are investigating the shooting that happened two blocks from Ramirez’s home at 18th Street and Chanslor Avenue. 

“He was never angry,” niece Yesenia Guerrero said. “He could put a smile on anyone’s face.”

Ramirez was married, a father to four girls, and had four grandchildren. Erica Ramirez, said her father didn’t deserve to die by gun violence.

“I feel like it would be different if my dad would have passed away under a different circumstance like natural causes,” she said. “All I want is the world to know that we want justice for him. It’s not fair.”

Ramirez was a custodian at a Bay Area television news station. He was one of two people killed in six separate shootings in Richmond since Sunday. The first three shootings happened Sunday night within in an hour and a half of each other. Three other shootings happened on Tuesday within an hour, including the one that killed Ramirez. 

Mayor Tom Butt said the shootings are an unusual spike, but said the city’s overall crime rate is trending down. He said the city’s homicide rate has also improved over time thanks to “best practices” by the police department and the community.

“Why this happens in Richmond and not other places. I don’t know,” Butt said. “It’s been a part of Richmond’s culture, but fortunately it’s going in the right direction. It’s diminishing.”

Butt said homicides used to be driven by drug wars and gangs, but now shootings happen over trivial things and said the gun violence usually happens in spurts. He said he would like to see the day when Richmond has no homicides.

“I think we’re making a lot of progress, but I want to get to a time where we get over this,” he said.

The Richmond Police Department said it has added more resources for a visible presence in neighborhoods where retaliatory shootings may happen. 

Ramirez’s family has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for his funeral expenses.