CHICAGO — Ramon Salgado was raised by his grandmother. When she died in 2005, he lost the one person he had always been able to count on, his aunt said months after his death.
Salgado, known as "Munchie," joined the Two Six gang shortly after his grandmother's death, Susan Muncy said. He was 15 at the time.
“It was an emotional trigger,” Muncy, 58, said. “Munchie was looking for that family life."
Though he didn't have an extensive criminal record, life on the street for Salgado, 22, was rough. He was badly beaten up in the summer of 2011 and needed surgery to undergo surgery, she said.
And on March 21, while Salgado took a phone call in an alley near his Little Village home, a gunman drove by in an SUV, shooting at Salgado, then fleeing, according to Muncy and authorities. Salgado was in the alley helping a friend repair his roof, Muncy said.
Salgado was pronounced dead at Mt. Sinai Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Police said the incident was possibly gang related.
His aunt said she did not know why Salgado was shot, but didn't deny his affiliation with a tough street gang that roams the streets of Little Village.
“I wish it would have been different but a lot of these young people don’t think they can count on family,” she said.
Before the slaying, the gang cost him time with his 2-year-old daughter, Diani, since the baby's mother worried about the child's safety when she was with Salgado, Muncy said.
“She didn’t want anything to happen to her little girl,” she said.
Salgado, however, was trying to provide for his child, Muncy said. He worked at a clothing store at North Riverside Mall in the western suburbs, and had been trying to get more hours, Muncy said.
Salgado, whom the family called “Munchie” for his love of food as a baby, also was known as “Mr. Fix it,” for his ability to fix cars and household items.
His family had to travel to the North Side to hold Salgado’s services — they didn’t want any gang conflicts to arise during his memorial.
“I’m tired of the gangs,” Muncy said. “I don’t want to see any spilled blood. I don’t want gang retaliation and I don’t think Munchie would want that.”