Hundreds gather in Beloit to remember 5-year-old victim in last week shooting

Hundreds gathered near the intersection of Shopiere Road and Prairie Avenue in Beloit Sunday to mourn the death of five-year-old Austin Ramos, Jr., shot and killed at that same intersection Friday night.

Pastor Michael Ramsdail of Beloit’s Lighthouse Fellowship Church organized the vigil, attended by family members, friends, clergy, public officials and Beloit police officers.

Ramsdail called Austin’s death “senseless” and remembered a child who brought joy to many lives.

“His grandmother Martinez called him her sunshine,” Ramsdail said. “Many knew him by ‘Junior’, and the sunshine that Junior brought to this family has been shrouded by the darkness of cold-blooded murderers.”

Ramsdail used the vigil to call for an end to violence in Beloit.

“No more will we allow thugs, drug dealers and gangs to operate in our town like they used to, no more!” Ramsdail said.

Community members rallied for justice and officials urged cooperation with Beloit police, who continue to investigate the case.

“I know that someone in this community has information that will help us find justice,” Beloit City Manager Lori Curtis Luther said.

Speakers at the vigil hoped something good could come out of Austin’s tragic death.

“If anything good can possibly come from this, let his life create a change in our city that makes us collectively say ‘no more’,” Curtis Luther said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Ramos family. As of Sunday night, it raised more than $15,000.

Police are looking for a maroon SUV seen leaving the shooting scene Friday night. It was described as a late 1990s or early 2000s model.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Beloit Police Department at 608-364-6800.