Four men arrested in connection to fatal shooting

By By Ana Breton

By Ana Breton

A man who allegedly tried to stop a fight over stolen cases of beer was fatally shot Sunday morning during a party, said the victim’s friend, Will Kilgore.

Robert Ramirez, 26, was shot in the back during a dispute with a group of men at a party attended by many U students at a housing complex at 369 S. 1300 East. Ramirez saw several men leave the party around 1:30 a.m. and tried to stop them from taking alcohol for which they hadn’t paid, Kilgore said.

“He called them out on it, and they wanted to fight Rob, so he ended up punching a couple of them,” Kilgore said. “One of the men went out and grabbed a gun and shot him.”

Kilgore said that Ramirez wanted to only stop by the party for a short time because he was planning to visit the mother of his 3-year-old boy the next day. Ramirez later died at the U Hospital.

“He had such a good, kind heart. He had a good soul,” said Ramirez’s mother, Emily Robichaud, who is a medical claims processor at the U Hospital and Clinics. “How can I describe him? He was my son.”

Four men were booked into jail who are believed to be connected to the shooting: Stany Mputu, 19; Benjamin Calbert, 20; Theophales Kur, 19; and Michael Rix, 22. None of them are believed to be U students, although the party occurred in an area where many students live. All the men where booked on charges of homicide, a second-degree felony, and are being held with a $1 million bail, except for Rix, who is being held with no bail.

All four of the men have criminal backgrounds, including charges for interfering with an officer and aggravated burglary.

Salt Lake City Police Department spokesperson Jared Wihongi said detectives are not ready to release an exact motive, but he said they believe one of the possible suspects “ultimately shot and killed the victim.”

“They were probably fighting over something stupid,” Robichaud said. “You know how people are. They take a gun and shoot them in the back…I can’t stand guns.”

Ramirez, who graduated from West High School in 2000, was described by his friends as a “big teddy bear” with a big heart and an easy-going personality. Jake Torres, the manager at Lumpy’s private club, where Ramirez worked as a security guard, said although 6-foot-2 Ramirez, who weighed more than 200 lbs., intimidated some people, he was well-spoken and kind hearted.

“He was a great guy, just loved to wrestle everyone,” Torres said. “He always wanted to wrestle. He was a little kid at heart.”

Torres also said Ramirez was a huge fan of comic books and had tattoos of Spiderman and other comic book characters covering the skin from his shoulder to his wrist on one side of his arm. He shared that passion for comic book heroes with his son, Robert Ramirez Jr., whom he adored more than anyone in his life, Robichaud said.

“He was the spitting image of his dad, always involved in his life and playing sports with him,” said Elizabeth Ramirez, Robert Ramirez’s sister, who lives in Florida. “At first looks you might be afraid of him, but he was a very open, a fun person, he was a huge teddy bear.”

Ramirez’s funeral will take place Friday. Robichaud said she is setting up a fund for Robert Ramirez Jr. at a local Mountain America Credit Union. In addition, Lumpy’s location at 145 W. Pierpont Ave. will be holding a fundraiser to help pay for the funeral costs Sunday at 7 p.m.

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