Family remembers 17-year-old killed in Gresham shooting - KPTV - FOX 12

Family remembers 17-year-old killed in Gresham shooting

Posted: Updated: Jul 30, 2017 11:13 PM
Jose Ricardo Morales (Family photo) Jose Ricardo Morales (Family photo)
GRESHAM, OR (KPTV) -

A 17-year-old boy was gunned down and left just feet from where his brother works, and now his family is remembering him as “the humble boy” who always put them first.  

The mother of Jose Ricardo Morales says her son was running a quick errand for her Saturday night and was supposed to come right back. She never thought the phone call she would get the next morning would mean he wouldn't be coming home.

“I can’t believe it, I’m still not believing it,” said Celia Santiago. 

She recalls the last dinner she had with her 17-year-old son. 

“Last night, we had a dollar and 50 cents. We went and we bought Top Ramen because that’s all we could afford, and my son, he’s such a good kid. He loves me so much and he’s so thoughtful and considerate. He’s like, ‘Mom, I’m only going to eat half, you can have the rest of my noodles,’” Santiago said. 

She says her son left home at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, hopped on the MAX and headed to his brother's work. He was picking up her car keys. She didn’t find out he wouldn’t be coming home until 5 a.m. Sunday. 

“A detective called me to tell me that my son is dead so I started jumping, stomping around the room, like, no, no, no, this can’t be true – someone didn’t just call me to tell me that my son is dead,” she said. 

Police found Morales lying on the sidewalk near Southeast Stark Street and 187th Avenue in Gresham just before 11 p.m. Saturday. 

A short time later, police arrested the four people suspected of killing him: 15-year-old Obed Garcia, 16-year-old Francisco Martinez-Chavez, his 17-year-old brother Cristian Martinez-Chavez, and 20-year-old Isai Guzman-Ramirez. They are all facing murder charges. 

Santiago said, “I don’t recall a time of him talking back to me. He would always stay quiet, whether he was right or wrong.” 

On Sunday, family members gathered across the street from the spot where Morales was shot. They released white balloons with his name in black ink into the sky. 

Santiago says her son was saving money and doing well. He was supposed to start a new landscaping job on Monday. 

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