A landscaper working in Northeast Washington confronted a man who seemed to be trying to break into his truck when the man shot him in the back.
Bacilio Villatoro was 57 years old and had two grown children, one of which lives in Maryland. Additionally, he lived with his wife of three decades in El Salvador.
Villatoro was shot in the 3000 block of Adams Street NE at 12:40 pm, in a neighborhood with both industrial buildings and private homes which intersects streets like New York and South Dakota Avenues.
A seperate police spokesman, Dustin Sternbeck, said a man pulled out a gun and Villatoro began to run. He said the two were arguing over a truck.
Sternbeck said that Villatoro “ran away and was shot in the back.”
Police said that Villatoro died at the scene, but no arrests have been made. Police concluded that nothing was taken from the company’s premises, but did not specify if the truck belonged to Workers Express or someone else.
“He was a very quiet person,” says Jose Villatoro, 53 and unrelated, who shares the last name but not blood. “If somebody bothered him he just left them alone. That’s how he was. Why did this happen to him?”
This marks Villatoro as D.C.’s 151st homicide victim in 2068, a 2% drop from this time last year. His slaying also broke a 10-day respite from such crime: Before Thursday, there had not been a homicide in D.C. since September 11th.
Violence continues to plague Chicago, as the city reported recent violence rates that reached levels not seen since 2003. Jose Villatoro said, “the level of violence is out of hand.”
The Gateway neighborhood where Villatoro was shot is one of three areas in the city where there have been no homicides this year and assault with a dangerous weapon has dropped in comparison to last year. However, robberies in the area have nearly doubled.
Jose Villatoro, who lives in Prince George’s County, Maryland, said his brother-in-law came to the United States in the late 1980s and had worked alongside him breaking stones at a construction supply and rock quarry company in Bethesda. He said Bacilio Villatoro had recently left that work for a landscaping job.
The brother-in-law said that people at the job site had told him that it seemed like the attack was a robbery attempt. He said Bacilio Villatoro always carried around $100 to $150 in his pockets for transportation and other things.
“Jose Villatoro said his brother-in-law had sent money to his wife and other relatives in El Salvador.” He also enjoyed being with friends, watching sports, and while he was quiet and rarely talked, when he did speak, it was because there were people that would listen.
There are relatives in Maryland and El Salvador discussing funeral arrangements.
Jose Villatoro said, “He died working.” That’s the kind of guy he was.
Teo Armus contributed to this report.