October 8, 2003

Police Identify Murder Victim

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Enrique “Ricky” Chavez, a resident of the Southside neighborhood in Ithaca was shot and killed late last Thursday night.

According to a press release issued by the Ithaca Police Department, Chavez, a 19-year-old resident of Ithaca, was found injured and “transported by Bangs Ambulance to the Cayuga Medical Center where he was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.” The cause of death was injuries sustained from a firearm.

“We have evidence to indicate that this was an intentional act,” said Lauren Signer, deputy chief of police in IPD.

The police found Chavez injured at 11:06 p.m. in his apartment at 101 Parkside Gardens when they responded to the shooting.

According to Signer, the police “have not [yet] identified any one person as a suspect.”

Chavez attended Boynton Middle School and Ithaca High School, but dropped out of high school in January of 2001. According to the Ithaca Journal he was planning to enter a GED program.

Chavez had been an active employee of the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC). In the summer of 2002, he was an attendant in youth services and served lunches at GIAC’s summer camp program in 2000.

“He had this sort of old fashioned courtesy about him,” said Linda Holzbaur, a Sun employee, who has been a neighbor of Chavez’s parents since Chavez was 10-years-old. “He was very polite and always wanted to offer people drinks or something to eat. He was a simple kind of open caring person.”

According to the Ithaca Journal, neighbor James McGuire heard two gunshots fired, but Signer did not confirm this report.

“It’s a terrible thought to think that someone is out there and actually intended to murder a 19 year-old boy,” Holzbaur said. “I think originally Ricky moved here from Brooklyn and I think that his mother thought that [Ithaca] was a safer place for Latinos.”

Currently the police are attempting to piece together the hour before Chavez’s death. Anyone with any information about the whereabouts of Chavez after 10:00 p.m. on Thursday night is encouraged to call the Ithaca Police Department at 272-9973.

Archived article by David Hillis