South End Mourns the Loss of Young Man Killed in Shooting

"We're not supposed to bury our kids this young"

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Boston's South End mourned the loss of a man Sunday evening whose life was taken last Saturday in a shooting.

Dion Ruiz, a 28-year-old man from the South End was shot Saturday evening near West Dedham Street. After police found Ruiz, he was taken to Boston Medical Center, where officials say he died from his injuries.

Sunday evening, dozens of people attended a makeshift memorial for him at the basketball court of the O'Day Playground in the South End, burning candles and sending prayers to Ruiz and his family.

"It still isn't real to me... I just can't believe it. It's very heartbreaking for me to lose a child," said Wanda Miller, Ruiz's mother. "This should be a wake up call for everybody, because I don't think that in a thousand years anyone would've thought this would happen."

With Ruiz now gone, Miller is doing her best to remember all the things that made her son special to her.

"His smile... his smile and the laughs and the hugs, and kisses that he always gave me when he was around," said Miller.

Neighbors to Ruiz are in shock that something so awful could happen in their neighborhood.

Ruth Agosto, Ruiz's neighbor across the street, witnessed paramedics try to resuscitate him on the sidewalk outside his house. Ruiz's other neighbor, Antonia Santos says she can't even walk by the sidewalk where Ruiz was found.

"It's just horrible that we know each other so well," said Martin Ryan, a neighbor of Ruiz's in the South End. "...It had to be somebody from outside the neighborhood, because we all just care too much about each other."

Miller blames the U.S. gun epidemic for the loss of her son.

"We're losing our kids at early ages. We're not supposed to bury our kids this young," said Miller.

Boston police are still investigating Ruiz's death, and they haven't said if they've identified or arrested a suspect.

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