Editor’s note: This obituary is presented in partnership with the Philadelphia Obituary Project, a nonprofit committed to memorializing city victims of homicide whose deaths have otherwise been overlooked.
Angel Luis Torres III wasn’t an ordinary sports fan. He immersed himself in statistics, memorizing data on players from the major leagues all the way down to the local high school teams.
He and his mother, Christy Hernandez Torres, shared a passion for sports. They took part in fantasy football, but baseball was Mr. Torres’ true love. He was looking forward to their March trip to Clearwater, Fla., to attend Phillies spring training.
He also planned on traveling to Puerto Rico this year; he had not visited since he was a child.
Instead, his family found themselves traveling up to Philadelphia to say their final goodbyes.
On Dec. 5, Mr. Torres and Brian Madera, who had been friends since middle school, watched college football then hit an after-hours club in the 3200 block of Front Street in Fairhill.
At about 4:30 a.m., the men, both 22, were exiting the club when a blue or green Toyota RAV4 with dark-tinted windows drove by with someone inside firing an automatic weapon. Both were fatally shot. A third man, who is 21, was also shot but survived. Police have not made any arrests.
“We want justice for him,” said Donna Hernandez, Mr. Torres’ aunt. “We’re not the only family struggling with this in Philadelphia. It’s an epidemic. Angel would fight hard for justice if this happened to someone else, so I just want people to keep that in mind. He would fight for them.”
Mr. Torres was born Jan. 22, 1999, in Philadelphia to Christy Hernandez Torres and Angel Luis Torres Jr. He had an older brother, Ivan Maestre, and a younger sister, Alexandra Torres.
They lived in Hunting Park until he was about 10, then the family moved to Willow Grove, Montgomery County. After that, they relocated to Fox Chase in Northeast Philadelphia.
Upon graduating from Northeast High School, Mr. Torres worked for a few different companies, including Pepsi. At the time of his death, he was a night-shift warehouse employee at Sysco, where he was well-liked by his coworkers.
Ewing Lopez, one of his colleagues, said that Mr. Torres had an “infectious” smile.
“No matter how bad my day was, if I glanced at Angel, he gave me that smile, and I would realize I was smiling, too,” he said. “Angel had a great heart. My job isn’t the same without my little brother. I miss him and always will.”
People were drawn to Mr. Torres because of his sense of humor and playful nature. In her eulogy of him, his cousin Cecily Carrasquillo described him as “the funniest and silliest person I know.”
“If I told him to do something as a joke, like squeezing into one of my dresses and posing the way I do in my Instagram pictures, he’d do it just to see me laugh,” she said.
Although Mr. Torres loved to kid around, he was a serious person, his aunt said. He meant what he said, and he was a gentle soul.
She lives in Brooklyn, and when he’d visit, they would go to see all the landmarks related to his favorite artist, Biggie Smalls: the famous mural as well as the areas where he grew up and hung out.
But, she said, “he was a Philly boy through and through.”
Mr. Torres was loyal to all of the Philly sports teams, but he respected standout players on other teams, like LeBron James and Alex Rodriguez. He began keeping track of sports stats as a child, and his recollection of numbers was remarkable.
“He was a genius with numbers,” his aunt said. “Because his passion was sports, it made it so much easier for him to remember stats. He always wanted to know who was the best, and he always wanted to be the best at what he did.”
Mr. Torres lived in an apartment in Frankford, not far from where his parents and grandparents live. He was a frequent visitor, particularly on football Sundays, and he loved anything that his grandmother, Norma Garcia, cooked for breakfast.
He and his grandmother were inseparable, Hernandez said. Mr. Torres referred to her as his best friend, and they’d go food shopping together, get haircuts, and do laundry side-by-side.
In recent months, his ambition was to purchase his own home, and he was in the process of evaluating locations. He had a girlfriend, and ultimately he wanted his own family, but not right away.
In the meantime, he was an involved uncle to his brother Ivan’s two children, Cerena Scannel and Jaxon Maestre.
In addition to his parents, brother, sister, and grandmother, Torres is survived by his grandfather, Angel L. Torres Sr., and other relatives. He was preceded in death by grandparents Angela E. Torres and Eusebio “Junior” Hernandez.
A reward of up to $25,000 is available to anyone who comes forward with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Angel Torres’ murder. Anonymous calls can be submitted by calling the Citizens Crime Commission at 215-546-TIPS.