Friends, family, and colleagues of Carlos Rivera will lay him to rest on Tuesday morning, more than a week after someone shot him to death as he investigated a disturbance in the second-floor unit of his North Side two-flat. Chicago police have not announced any charges.
Rivera loved his family, loved his dog, and he loved umpiring baseball games.
A little after 10 p.m. on Sunday, October 23, Rivera heard a commotion coming from his upstairs neighbors in the 4300 block of North Whipple, police said. Rivera, 50, went to investigate. Someone shot him in the face as he stepped into the hallway, police said.
Investigators spent the week trying to figure out what happened and who did it. The upstairs neighbors were said to be uncooperative, at least initially.
“The community lost its top protector,” Ella Ralston wrote in a GoFundMe campaign for Rivera’s family. “Carlos’ family needs to know that we stand behind warriors of peace like Carlos and won’t allow these senseless acts of violence to go unpunished.”
“When I say a hard working man, I mean a hard working man,” Max Rundberg remembered on Twitter. “He would work his early morning job and finish his day in the early afternoon and go straight to umpire a baseball game afterwards. He’d do around 300 games in a spring/summer and fall. We’ll definitely miss you, Los’”
“Horner Park legend,” remembered another man. “His voice behind the plate was unforgettable.”
“Rip los one of the kindest souls on this earth. This man umpired over 200 of my games in this life time. From little league to high school and college,” wrote another. ” This one hurts man. Forever a real one.”
Rivera umped games for youth and high school leagues throughout Chicagoland and in the Chicago Park District, his obituary said. He worked at Northwestern University before he recently took a job with the Cook County Hospital system.
“His wife and son have endured tragedy after tragedy within the past two years. As their neighbors, family, and friends, we can’t stand to see them suffer anymore,” Ralston said.