Community members gathered at Wood and Walnut streets in Waterbury Tuesday evening to remember the 49-year-old man shot and killed while riding his bicycle there less than 24 hours prior.
Police said Luis Santiago, of Waterbury, was biking through the area when he was shot in the head around 10 p.m. Monday. Santiago was rushed to St. Mary's Hospital and pronounced dead.
Santiago's family and friends said he had recently overcome cancer and was happy to be out of a wheelchair and back on his bike.
"God gave him the strength to get up and move on with his life," said Santiago's niece, Miriam Maldonado.
His brother, Raul, said Santiago was riding home from church when he was shot about a block away from his house. Police said cars and homes in the area were riddled with bullet holes.
"He did not deserve that," said Frank Rivera, a friend of Santiago's. "Out of all people, he did not deserve that."
Nearly 100 community members gathered at the shooting scene Tuesday night to honor Santiago and say their goodbyes. His brothers and sisters struggled to contain their emotions as they read statements and said prayers.
The shooter is still on the loose. Officers have been interviewing neighbors, hoping to speak to any witnesses who could help identify a suspect.
Police continue to investigate and haven't said whether they believe the shooting was a random act.
Anyone with information is urged to call detectives at 203-574-6941.