For the second night in a row, more than 100 people showed up outside the ChrisT bar on the northern edge of Highlandtown to demand “justicia para Kevin,” a rallying cry for popular Honduran-born soccer coach Kevin Torres, 35, who was shot dead by a security guard there early Monday morning.
The shooting of Torres centers on an accusation by the security guard, who told police that Torres threw a brick at him, causing him to fire his weapon. Police have shared few details about the incident and have not named the security guard.
Carmen Ferrer, Torres’ sister-in-law, and her niece, Torres’ stepdaughter, said that Torres was upset about the stepdaughter being kicked out of the bar following an altercation over a cell phone. Torres felt the security guard was too hands-on with her, leading the security guard to push all of them out the door.
But that only made Torres more upset.
“Women should not be mistreated, and that’s my daughter,” Torres said to sister-in-law, by her account.
The two women said Torres then tried to speak to the security officer inside, despite Ferrer trying to hold him back. That’s when a different security officer at the bar used pepper spray on Torres, they said, causing him to drop to the ground incapacitated.
Torres may have grabbed a brick, the two women said, but he never threw it.
“The security officer from inside shot four times. He fell on the floor, got up, and he (the guard) shot two more times,” Ferrer said.
It’s unclear whether the security guard will face criminal charges.
The ChrisT bar hasn’t been the same since the shooting. Protesters wearing Honduran flags and chanting for justice have made sure of that. On Tuesday night, they spoke of plans to come back on Wednesday, and the next night after that.
However long it took to get justice for Torres, they said, they’d return to corner of Lombard Avenue and South Haven Street. Outside the bar, a pile of bricks outside the bar has been turned into a memorial of glowing candles and framed pictures of Torres.
People who knew Torres stood next to the candles and embraced each other as the temperature threatened to dip below 50 degrees. They gathered outside the bar at the ongoing vigil spoke about the importance of showing up as a community. If they didn’t get justice, they feared, more Latinos would die, and no one would care.
“We need justice,” a sign tucked beside the bar door said. “We all have the right to live.”