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Homicide victim in Hartford remembered by loved ones

A vigil was held for 59-year-old Guillermo Gonzalez on Monday evening. His family called for an end to the violence.

HARTFORD, Conn. — The family of 59-year-old Guillermo Gonzalez said their lives were shattered when he was killed.

"He was an innocent victim, and it's very hard knowing that I won't be able to see my godfather again," said Mylee Baker, one of his nieces.

Gonzalez was an innocent bystander and not the intended target, he was getting food outside of his home in Hartford when he was shot, standing next to his wife.

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"It's hurt our family completely, and it's not fair," said Vicky Figueroa. "My mother saw the whole thing. My mother saw how he died, how they shot him, everything."

Remembering him at a vigil Monday evening, his family called for an end to the violence that's become all too common in Hartford. Gonzalez was one of three people to be killed in the city in a week.

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"This is the senseless acts that people think it's okay to do in this world and it's not, it's not it," said his niece, Joanna Rodriguez.

Friday evening, a 24-year-old man was shot and killed on Bellevue Street, and Sunday afternoon a 30-year-old man was shot and killed on Washington Street.

"It does seem clear from the evidence that we have that both of those were targeted shootings, both of which seem to be involving drugs and narcotics trafficking," said Mayor Luke Bronin.

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Only 5 months into the year, Hartford has already had 15 homicides. Bronin said the city is addressing the issue with the help of law enforcement, but also community partnerships, youth intervention and a re-entry program.

"This is not a problem that gets solved overnight and there is no simple or single solution to it. We're going to continue to tackle it on as many different fronts as we can as aggressively as we can," Bronin said.

For those who have lost loved ones to the violence, it's also become their mission to put an end to it.

"I won't stop until we get justice. Not only for my uncle but for everybody else that's lost family members to senseless acts like this. You can't just think it's okay to take a life and go on with your life like it's nothing," Rodriguez said.

Hartford police are still investigating these three homicides. If anyone has information, you are asked to call their anonymous tip line at (860) 722-TIPS.

Gaby Molina is a reporter and anchor at FOX61 News. She can be reached at gmolina@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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