A story for every victim

Oscar Alberto Ramirez Jr., 28

Oscar Ramirez Jr., a 28-year-old Latino, was shot and killed Monday, Oct. 27 by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy near Rosecrans and Downey avenues in Paramount, according to law enforcement and family members.

About 2:40 p.m., deputies responded to a city park near Rosecrans Avenue and Paramount Boulevard after a 12-year-old student from a nearby school told her mother she saw two men armed with a knife and a handgun, Lt. Eddie Hernandez said.

The mother called the Lakewood sheriff’s office and gave a description of the two men, which was passed on to other deputies over the radio.

Hernandez said that one of the deputies saw men who matched the descriptions, but they ran off before the deputy could approach them. One of those men was believed to be Ramirez.

The deputy chased Ramirez to the railroad tracks that run along the park and Paramount High School. Hernandez said Ramirez kept his right arm behind his back and refused to follow instructions from the deputy.

“At one point he removed his arm from the back in a threatening manner and that’s what caused the deputy to believe he was armed,” Hernandez told The Times.

Several students were outside in the high school’s sports field when the shooting occurred. One student told NBC4 that he heard about six gunshots before he looked out from the bleacher to see several deputies.

Hernandez said one deputy fired his weapon. Ramirez was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, Ramirez’s family filed a wrongful-death claim against the county. Attorney Ron Kaye, who is representing the parents, said Ramirez was unarmed when he was shot five times. Kaye said four of the shots hit Ramirez in the back.

The claim accuses the deputy of wrongfully engaging in excessive and deadly force against Ramirez and alleges the deputy denied medical care to him. It also says the shooting has caused Ramirez’s parents great emotional distress.

Oscar Ramirez Sr., 62, said a pair of detectives visited his home hours after his son had been fatally shot, but he was never told that his son had been involved in a confrontation with deputies or that he had been killed in a police shooting.

Ramirez Sr. said the detectives asked to see his son's belongings and left soon after.

Hernandez confirmed the visit, but said detectives went to the home the following morning. He did not know whether anyone had visited the father before that morning visit.

The Ramirez family, which has expressed frustration at what they believe is the lack of information released by the Sheriff’s Department in the case is seeking the release of the autopsy report.

On Feb. 6, more than three months after the shooting, the department identified the deputy as Bryan Moreno. Moreno has been with the department for more than seven years and is assigned to the Lakewood station.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

-- Ruben Vives

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