By Alan Gionet

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – At 22, Alex Ramos was a proud Army veteran and a student. Attending Metropolitan State University of Denver, he was studying psychology as he continued his service in the National Guard. A young man loved by his close family, who “went overseas and protected this country with honor, only to be tragically killed in Aurora,” said Aurora Police agent Matthew Longshore.

Alex Ramos

(credit: CBS)

Ramos’ family is grieving and hoping for people to come forward and provide clues about his killers.

“My mother’s been praying the whole time,” said his brother Roberto Ramos.

“We should stand together and speak up and do something about it. Not just keep quiet.”

family of Alex Ramos

(credit: CBS)

The killing happened at 9:45 p.m. on Oct. 5 and 22nd and Galena. Ramos was sitting in a car talking with a friend who lived nearby.

“It wasn’t any drug deal gone bad. It wasn’t any type of suspicious incident other that two friends hanging out in a car,” said Longshore.

Two males approached with their faces covered, police believe.

“It was some sort of robbery.”

Ramos got out of the car.

“So there was some sort of fight. Right, this guy was in the Army. He was in the National Guard. This is someone that fought for this country,” said Longshore.

But the robbers were armed and shot him and shot and missed his friend.

Police have not been able to locate the suspects, but they do have a clue and an additional worry; another killing only blocks away, three days earlier.

“It’s believed that the same firearm that was used on Oct. 2 was also used to kill Alex that night.”

That case, a shooting at 19th and Del Mar Parkway, bore a lot of similarities. Robbery, shooting, the description of the suspects — who ran off both times.

“We definitely know by the casings that were examined and analyzed that the two cases just blocks apart are actually connected.”

Longshore says the lack of information about a getaway vehicle likely means the pair had not gone far.

“They are somewhere within walking/running distance that they could do something like this and easily and quickly escape.”

Police believe the pair are two black males, one taller than the other.

(credit: CBS)

An image taken from a camera near the shooting at 19th and Del Mar Parkway shows a blurry image of an Adidas hoodie and two toned sneakers on one of the suspects.

Alex Ramos was not likely to have done nothing about the robbery, his brother said.

“I believe he would have fought back. It’s his belongings. He feels like, it’s mine. Go get your own.”

The family is still in shock over his loss.

“He wants the best for everybody. Not only for me, not only for his brother, not only for his mom. He want the best for everybody,” said his father Basilio Ramos, who was still dressed at the time from a long day at work for a landscaping company.

His mother has a small shrine in his unchanged bedroom in their modest home only 10 minutes from the crime scene, where she burns candles. A folded flag from her son’s memorial services is in a chest of drawers.

“You know, I’m in the same boat as my mother. Praying, hoping something comes up,” said Roberto.

The reward for information in the case is now up to $5,000. Those with tips can remain anonymous by contacting Metro Denver Crime Stoppers.

Alan Gionet