SAN LEANDRO (KRON) — Two years later, the murder of Joel Ramirez remains a cold case in San Leandro.
Police believe his killing was the tragic result of mistaken identity.
On Thursday, KRON4’s Philippe Djegal spoke with the victim’s aunt, who hopes the public can help solve this case.
“Missing him every day–it’s just hard,” Joel’s aunt Delia Aceves said.
The winter months for Ramirez’s family are an agonizing reminder of his untimely and shocking murder.
“He was just coming home,” Aceves said.
Just days after turning 21 years old, the aspiring police officer was gunned down on his own driveway on Kenilworth Avenue.
“And, he was an innocent bystander,” Aceves said. “My nephew just came home at the wrong time.”
The deadly shooting happened the night of Dec. 14, 2014.
And since then the case has gone cold, though Joel’s aunt says the family hasn’t given up hope.
“Hope, that you know, one day this case will be solved,” Aceves said.
The City of San Leandro has since increased its $25,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects involved in this case to $50,000.
And councilwoman Corina Lopez helped lead that effort.
“There’s somebody out there that understands the full picture here, and they really need to come forward, and do the right thing and give this family relief,” Lopez said.
Last year, more than 100 people gathered days before the anniversary of the killing to honor Joel. And the community will do so again this year on the night of Dec. 10 to pay their respects, near the driveway Joel’s family still occasionally passes by.
“It’s very hard, you know, there’s days when we drive by or we have something to do, and you know, you feel like literally, your hairs stands up, just knowing that somebody’s life was taken away — you know, an innocent victim,” Aceves said.