Susana Guadarramo-Flores stood in the stairway of the apartment she’s lived in for more than a decade. Her mother stood behind her, and her two young children looked down from above. She said she can’t look out her front window at their yard anymore. Her husband of 13 years, Uriel Guadarramo, was killed there Friday.
“Things like this you never think is going happen to you,” she said quietly. “You hear it happening to other families, and it hurts, but you never feel that it’s going happen to you, and that’s the hardest part.”
Her husband had just stepped outside to talk with a longtime friend who wanted to borrow some money, she said. He waved hello to one of his neighbors as he stood in front of the house. Seconds later she heard gunshots, thinking they were fireworks. That kind of noise stood out on the quiet Avondale street.
Griselda Morocho, Guadarramo’s sister-in-law, described the disbelief in the moments after the shooting.
“Everyone said, ‘Oh my God, Uriel’s been killed; he’s been shot’,” she said, adding that Guadarramo’s brother-in-law rushed to his side, but there was nothing he could do to save him.
Guadarramo-Flores said she has no inkling of what might have been the motive for the murder.
“I have no idea who they were after or if it was just a random shooting. That’s what’s killing me inside,” she said.
Guadarramo lived the majority of his life in the Avondale area. Morocho described his affection for the neighborhood.
“He loved the community. He always knew everybody,” she said, “They really took someone special that affected a lot of people’s lives, not just our family but our neighborhood as well.”
Guadarramo met his wife at school when they were both in the eighth grade. The two had been dating since they were 15 and have two children; a 9 year old son, and a 12 year old daughter.
Guadarramo was a dedicated husband and father.
“He was a family man;” said Guadarramo-Flores, “he would go to work and come straight home with me.”
Guadarramo was born in Mexico and lost his father at a young age. He was raised by his mother in a “loving family.” Now his two children will also have to grow up without their father.
Self-employed, Guadarramo did carpentry work and helped his mother-in-law repair her house. Morocho, described him as a giving and sociable person who had good relationships with his neighbors. “Everybody here loved him. He had no enemies; he was a working person,” she said.
Guadarramo-Flores is in disbelief of the tragedy.
“And to me, this is so unreal,” she said, “This is a part of my life that I didn’t know would happen. There’s something that’s missing that I’m never going to get it back… You don’t know what’s going to happen.”
(John Carpenter, Homicide Watch Chicago editor, contributed to this story.)