After officer-involved shooting, family pleads for answers

PARAMOUNT – It was just four months ago that 62-year-old Oscar Ramirez Sr. had police knock on his door. Officials had been there asking about one of his sons, 28-year-old Oscar Ramirez Jr., just the night before. “The guy told me, ‘You know I gotta tell you, I have bad news for you,” said Ramirez. “Your son got into a confrontation with the police. He’s dead.”

The incident took place on Oct. 27 of last year, and Ramirez’s family is still struggling to put pieces of information together while remembering their son and brother.

Ramirez was living with his father in South Gate at the time of his death.

“This was his general vicinity,” said Ramirez’s brother Kristian, 32, of Buena Park. “Downey, Paramount, and Bellflower. This is all he knew.”

Ramirez’s family describes him as an extremely family-oriented individual, who was very caring and protective of those he cared about. Lighthearted and a bit of a prankster, he was not one to be overly serious, family members said.

“When there was seriousness in the room, he would defer away from it by making you laugh and smile. He did not like that whole seriousness of everyone,” said Kristian.

Ramirez’s family also noted his persevering attitude, never wanting to be average or subpar. Before his passing, Ramirez was pursuing a career in heavy machine operation. He struggled in his last year, unable to afford completing his schooling and shifting from various warehouse jobs.

Ramirez was also friendly with many younger individuals, especially students from Paramount High School. Like he did with his family, Ramirez watched over his young friends.

His family claims that Ramirez was attempting to stop a fight between one of his young acquaintances and an older man on the day he was fatally shot. According to media reports, all three individuals fled the scene when police arrived.

According to a document sent to the family’s lawyer by the L.A. County Sherriff’s Department, a Lakewood Sheriff’s deputy assigned to Paramount High received information about the pending fight at Paramount Park. Shortly after, a witness called the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station with a description of the involved individuals, stating that one was armed with a knife and the other with a handgun.

The document also claims that Ramirez was found hiding in bushes and was not compliant before making a sudden movement that concealed his right side, causing the deputy to fire.

Many of the details surrounding Ramirez’s death, including an autopsy report, have remained mysterious to his family, making it difficult for them to find the closure that they desire.

Kristian described it as being “hearsay,” saying that the story has seemed to continue changing without finding a concrete form.

“We have nothing to go off of,” said Kristian. The family says they have only recently began to get bits and pieces of information concerning the incident.

The Ramirez family has protested outside the Paramount Sheriff's Station, filed a claim against L.A. County, and held a press conference, however, they say that they hold no political agenda. They insist that their only desire is to get the answers that will help put their loved one to rest.

“We’re still pushing to this day to get more answers,” said Kristian. “Until they make it concrete, then we can say ‘he died in this manner.’”