A Baywood man who was killed Thursday had moved to the United States from El Salvador a few years ago so he could work and provide a better life for his family, his relatives said.
Luis Gomez, 22, died after Suffolk police said he was stabbed in the chest by one of the men he shared a home with on Lincoln Avenue. Edwin Ramirez, 24, was arraigned Saturday in First District Court in Central Islip on charges of first-degree manslaughter, which carries a possible prison term of 25 years. He was held without bail.
Police said Gomez was found with a stab wound in his chest in the home's side yard about 11:25 p.m. Thursday. Court documents said Ramirez stabbed Gomez in the torso with a kitchen knife. Gomez was pronounced dead at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, police said.
Gomez lived in the basement of the house on Lincoln Avenue, where Ramirez also lives, according to Gomez's family members. Gomez also shared the basement with his brother, sister-in-law and three nephews, they said.
Residents of the home told police that Gomez was stabbed when he tried to intervene in an argument between Ramirez and his brother, who also lives there, according to a police news release.
According to the court documents, Ramirez gave an oral admission, saying, "I remember having a problem with my brother's friend last night. He's a tenant in the basement. This is probably his blood, not mine."
Gomez's cousin, Griselda Canales of Copiague, said Gomez's three nephews, who are 4, 8 and 10, saw the stabbing. Canales said Gomez worked in construction and that he was trying to save money so he could move back to El Salvador to live with his 9-year-old daughter and his girlfriend.
"He was very close with his family," she said.
More than a dozen of Gomez's family and friends were at the arraignment, including Milagro Vasquez of Brentwood. Vasquez said her husband, Miguel, and Gomez were "best friends" and that the three of them spent time together on a regular basis.
"I never saw mean in him," Vasquez said.
Ramirez's attorney, Frank Murphy of Sayville, said his client's next court appearance will be on Tuesday, when the case will go before a grand jury.