'Who comes to a peace concert with a gun?' Alex Guevara's sister speaks to AL DÍA
“Who comes to a peace concert with a gun? How can people plan a robbery at a peace concert?” Those are only two of the many questions Dolly Guevara, 23, finds unanswerable after the shooting death of her brother, Alex at the Dell Music Center after attending the "Philly Support Philly: Peace on the Streets" concert on Aug. 13.
The victim, a 20-year-old Ecuadorian-American who was entering Community College’s nursing program in the fall in order to become a pediatric nurse, had gone to the concert, according to his sister, as a show of support for the late Tynirah Borum, a 3-year-old killed by a stray bullet last month.
Police released Alex Guevara’s name on Friday, but have said the motive for the shooting was unclear and that they are still checking surveillance videos and have no suspects in custody. “Right now (the police) haven’t contacted us,” Dolly said. “I feel like they aren’t moving on it. They haven’t said anything.” Dolly’s aunt works at the 22nd police precinct, she told AL DÍA, but even she has been given no additional information about the investigation.
Although the police have not yet released the body to Alex’s parents, Ernesto and Erlanda Guevara, according to his sister, Alex was shot in the back in an attempted robbery. Dolly did not witness the shooting, and is basing her information on the eyewitness of the friend who was with Alex when he was shot, whose name she did not release, but whom she said she would try to put in contact with AL DÍA in the next few hours.
“When they came out of the concert, there was someone leaning on the front hood (of their car),” she said. “Alex told him to move, but then another guy appeared and held a gun to (Alex’s) friend’s head. They tussled and Alex knocked the gun out of the guy’s hand.” Alex was shot in the thigh, according to Dolly’s account, but he and his friend tried to run away and Alex was shot again, this time in the back, this time a fatal wound.
His friend, Dolly said to AL DÍA amid tears, “held my baby until he died.”
The siblings were close. They had lived together in an apartment in the Olney section of Philadelphia, but a few months ago Dolly moved out of state with her toddler, and Alex kept living at the apartment. “I knew he was a responsible person who wouldn’t let a payment go by,” she said. “He was mature and knew it was important to have good credit, a good name. He said to me ‘Dolly, I’m a man, I’m growing up.’”
Alex worked as a stock boy at Macy’s. “Alex was a great kid,” Dolly said. “Laid back and loyal. Respectful. He had a good heart. Everyone loved him.” He wasn’t into sports, but loved music and animals. And children. “He loved my son. I used to tell him he would make a good dad. He wanted to go into nursing to help kids.”
Like many young Latinos, Alex understood but didn’t speak Spanish. But he wanted to. “He used to go to the corner store of our old block in Olney,” Dolly remembered, “where the owner was also named Alex. But (my brother) called him ‘Papi.’ He’d say, ‘Papi, I want you to always talk to me in Spanish, so I learn.’”
Alex had been with his girlfriend, Meassochetra Sem (Mea), since he was 15 years old, but Dolly says the pair were always sweethearts, from the age of 6 when they met. Mea is the one who called Dolly in the early hours of Aug. 14 to let her know that Alex had been shot and declared dead at Temple University Hospital.
Since she flew out, Dolly’s been the one dealing officially with the death. “I’m a mother, I can only imagine what my mother is going through,” she said. “I’m the one who’s more together.” She’s the one who set up a gofundme page to help pay for the funeral expenses, and the one who reached out to AL DÍA, hoping that by doing so the police would release the surveillance video from the incident.
“I was told that a surveillance video of the accomplice is available,” she said. “My family cannot understand why the video has not been released and no arrest has been made. Right now, my family does not have closure.”
Correction: This story has been updated to correct who Alex Guevara was supporting by attending the concert. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated it was Keisha Williams and her children. We regret the error.
Updated at 3:37 to include girlfriend's full name.