AUSTIN (KXAN) — Members of the south Austin community gathered on Friday night to honor the life of Mike Ramos, the 42-year-old who was shot and killed by an Austin police officer in April.
A makeshift memorial was recently created at the ‘La Mexicana’ Bakery on South First Street.
A local artist is also creating a mural of Ramos, who died after a confrontation with APD officers back in April.
His mother, who stopped by to visit the mural Friday, says the entire situation could have been avoided.
“They didn’t have to shoot him close range with a shotgun,” cried Brenda Ramos. “There was nowhere where he could go. The car just rolled, he didn’t just take off.”
“He was my only son. I lost my whole family now.”
Ramos was killed April 24, during the incident on South Pleasant Valley Road, where police responded after a report that people were doing drugs in a parking lot and that a man was waving a gun.
Police approached the vehicle, believing it to have been involved in a previous crime. Then, police say, Ramos refused to comply with commands and re-entered the vehicle — police say he drove out of the parking space, at which time a lethal shot was fired by APD Officer Christopher Taylor.
Ramos was unarmed at the time.
His death has sparked many calls for justice amidst a national wave of police reform and protests. In Austin, one group even calls itself the “Mike Ramos Brigade.”
The Austin Police Department is expected to release video of the deadly encounter sometime next week. The Mike Ramos case is set to be taken to a Texas grand jury in 2021.