CLEVELAND (WJW)– An innocent man is being remembered after he was shot and killed in front of a convenience store on Cleveland’s east side.
While police investigate the shooting, family and friends gathered at the location Tuesday night for an emotional vigil.
“This has got to stop, they took the wrong dude,” shouted a friend.
Santino Wilson, 39, was in front of the store located inside of a small plaza at 7515 Kinsman Rd. at about 6:30 p.m. Monday when the occupants of one car began shooting at people inside of another car, according to Cleveland police.
Wilson was struck in the chest as he dove for cover behind a guardrail, police said. He was transported to University Hospitals, but sadly passed away.
Loved ones, who are grappling with both extreme grief and anger over the senseless shooting, placed candles and tied balloons to the guardrail Tuesday.
“We just saw him on the Fourth of July and now Monday, he’s dead. He didn’t deserve that, he didn’t deserve that at all,” said Yvette Goins, Wilson’s Aunt.
By all accounts, Wilson was a hardworking man who loved his family and community.
“He was a very good guy,” Goins said.
Wilson worked for MetroHealth Medical Center in logistics as a driver delivering supplies to various sites.
Although he moved to Mayfield Heights, Dolores Walton said he never forgot his old neighborhood and friends.
“I’ve known Santino since he was a baby and he was just like one of my children. Santino was a wonderful young man, never got into any kind of trouble ever,” said a tearful Walton.
Those gathered said they will never understand how such a gentle soul could be killed like this. Now they’re just praying surveillance cameras on several of the nearby businesses will lead police to the shooter.
“This violence needs to stop. It’s too much stuff going on out here it needs to stop,” said Cartier LaFlaer, Wilson’s cousin.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Cleveland police.