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Friend says suspect's actions in officer-involved shooting were 'not like him'

The name of the suspect in the officer-involved shooting, Rafael Ramirez, was announced earlier Friday but friends say they knew who it was long before that announcement because he was close to so many in the area where the incident occurred.

Just one day after the shooting, the scene now remains as a constant reminder to those who knew Ramirez.

“I don’t understand. I can’t believe it, when the people told me, when my friend told me I said ‘no that’s not true’… because he’s a nice person,” said Maria Herrera, friend of Rafael Ramirez.

Maria Herrera says she had just spoken to Ramirez the day before about potential work for Ramirez at the restaurant she serves, just two blocks down from where it all happened. She says he had been talking about going back home for some time.

“He told me last week, he said ‘you know Maria I want to go back to Mexico because I remember [it] and I want to go back, I don’t want to stay here anymore’ and I said ‘that’s a good thing’,” Herrera explains.

She says the way police say the way he was acting Thursday afternoon wasn’t like him at all.

“He was a nice guy. He worked so hard, he never did bad things, he worked everyday…. I don’t know,” she said.

ABC 57 news looked into Ramirez criminal history and, other than a few driving violations such as an OWI, doesn’t have a serious criminal background.

As for the investigation itself, St. Joseph County Metro Homicide has released it’s findings so now the South Bend Police Department is planning to conduct an internal review to make sure policies and training were followed.

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