Orlando Dominguez held without bond in murder of White Sox vendor Nicholas Ramirez

By Emily Gray Brosious
Originally published at Homicide Watch Chicago
May 14, 2014

Orlando Dominguez was held without bond Wednesday for allegedly causing a crash then fatally shooting injured driver Nicholas Ramirez in the West Town neighborhood last month.

“I still feel numb,” said Ramirez’ mother, Dalia Ramirez. “Nothing’s going to bring Nicky back, but at least something is being done to bring his killer to justice.”

Dominguez, 17, was charged with one count of first-degree murder. If convicted, he faces a sentence of natural life in prison.

Nicholas Ramirez
Nicholas Ramirez

“We want the harshest sentence possible,” Dalia Ramirez said.

Dominguez is accused of intentionally smashing into the SUV Nicholas Ramirez was driving, then shooting him dead after the crash.

Nicholas Ramirez, 19, was driving the SUV with four passengers inside near North Ashland Avenue and West Hubbard Street around 2:30 a.m. April 19, Assistant State’s Attorney Beth Novy said.

Dominguez chased the SUV to North Ashland and West Grand avenues, where he accelerated the Nissan Altima he was driving into Nicholas Ramirez’ SUV, authorities said.

The SUV then hit two other vehicles and crashed into a median in the 1600 block of West Hubbard Street, authorities said. The four passengers ran from the crashed vehicle, but Nicholas Ramirez was trapped in the driver’s seat, Novy said.

Dominguez exited the Altima and fired multiple shots into the SUV’s driver’s side window, Novy said. Dominguez and five passengers then allegedly fled in the Altima and abandoned the car short distance later.

Nicholas Ramirez, of the 3900 block of South Rockwell Street, died at the scene from a gunshot wound to the head, authorities said.

Ramirez memorial / Photo by Emily Gray Brosious
Ramirez memorial / Photo by Emily Gray Brosious

Family members described Nicholas Ramirez as a hard working White Sox vendor who wasn’t involved in any gang activity.

Nicholas Ramirez loved baseball and hoped to be an emergency medical technician, relatives said.

His uncle, Oscar Mendoza, described him as a “warmhearted” young man who “treated people well.”

“He was easygoing and always laughed things off,” Mendoza said. “People were drawn to his happiness.”

Nicholas Ramirez’ mother and his longtime girlfriend Melissa Collazo said they did not recognize Dominguez when he appeared in court and have no idea why he would have shot him.

Oscar Mendoza, Ramirez’ uncle, said the family was pleased with the way Chicago Police handled the investigation. Dalia Ramirez said she wished charges had come faster, but is hopeful Dominguez will receive a life conviction for the murder of her son.

Dominguez is currently on parole for a 2013 felony count of unlawful use of a weapon. He is expected back in court June 2.

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