Brandon Addeo | News Editor
Twenty one year-old former Duquesne student Ryan Ramirez, who was found dead of a gunshot wound Thursday in Washington County, was a caring, generous and playful person who loved sports and working with children, according to his family and friends.
Police discovered the body of Ramirez, of McKees Rocks, in a wooded area in Hanover Township. Police have arrested and charged Kristopher Lott with criminal homicide in his death.
Ramirez attended Duquesne between the fall 2013 and fall 2014 semesters, according to Duquesne spokeswoman Rose Ravasio.
He majored in education before prematurely leaving the program at Duquesne and went on to work full time at his father’s woodworking shop. Ramirez also worked part time at a daycare, Precious People Childcare, in Mars, according to Ramirez’s friend Andrea Savatt.
An avid fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, Ramirez loved to play pickup basketball with friends and his brothers, Savatt said.
“With his competitive and playful ways, he always had to find a way to win, whether it was in a game of backyard basketball, video games, or simply playful banter with friends and family,” she said.
Savatt added that Ramirez will be remembered for his “contagious smile” and “goofy personality.”
“Ryan brought people together and that has become so apparent by the immense support his family has received throughout the past week,” she said. “[He] was an incredibly passionate person who was forever focused on making people smile.”
Ryan’s aunt, Lori Pintar, said people can learn from Ryan’s example.
“He lived his life everyday with kindness and [by] helping others and trying to make our world a better place by sharing a smile, a hug, a kind word or just joking around to make us laugh,” Pintar said. “I suggest you honor him by not saying goodbye, but by continuing his life’s journey in [a] way he would be proud.”
Pintar said the family is working with the Charlie Batch Foundation to set up a memorial fund in Ryan’s name to support the Foundation’s Project C.H.U.C.K. youth basketball league, to “strengthen … the community through Ryan’s love of basketball.”
Family and friends remembered Ryan Ramirez in a Mass of Christian Burial Tuesday at St. Malachy Church in Kennedy Township.