Slain guardsman possibly lived in Juárez
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JUAREZ — A Texas National Guardsman gunned down in Juárez on Wednesday might have lived in the poor neighborhood where he was killed.
Neighbors said Pfc. José Gil Hernández Ramírez, 22, was often seen on the quiet streets of the south-central neighborhood of Revolución Mexicana. Until now, shootings have been uncommon in the area.
Neighbors said Hernández lived with his relatives in a pink and white gated house on Luis Gutierrez street, not far from where he was shot dead along with another man, Rafael Ramírez Reza, 42. It is not known whether the two were related.
Neighbors and officials said they don’t know why the two were targeted.
Thursday afternoon, the mood in the house was somber. There was a white religious candle burning on the kitchen counter next to a picture of Hernández. Friends of the family accepted visitors into the house but said they did not want to discuss Hernández’s death.
FBI Special Agent Michael Martinez said the Chihuahua state police and the FBI are working together to try to solve Ramirez’s murder. But killings in Juárez are almost never solved.
Neighbors said Mexican police arrived at the murder site about 35 minutes after armed gunmen on a motorcycle shot at the two victims 18 times and sped away.
Hernández and Ramírez died at the scene long before police showed up, neighbors said. Another man was shot along with them. He survived and was taken to a hospital.
The next day, it was as if the shooting never happened. Children rode their bikes around the area where the bodies had lain while families and construction workers bought drinks and food at nearby stores.
But additional border security cannot prevent U.S. citizens from going into Juárez.
Many El Pasoans, like Hernández, have relatives on both sides of the border.
The Texas National Guard does not forbid its off-duty members to go to Mexico, but it does advise them to exercise caution, Meehan said.
Hernández leaves behind two brothers who are also members of the Texas National Guard, he said. They and other relatives, are working with a Texas National Guard casualty assistance officer to cope with Hernández’s death, Meehan said.
Pfc. Jos Gil Hernndez Ramrez, 22. (Special to the Times)