The 18-year-old Cambridgeport resident died in the early morning hours of April 12 after he was allegedly stabbed by Alexander Pring-Wilson in front of Pizza Ring on Western Avenue.
Pring-Wilson, a second-year student at the Harvard Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, has said publicly that he acted in self-defense after an altercation took place.
But Colono’s family and friends say he was not the type to start a fight, and they believe the media has unfairly focused on his previous history of trouble with the law.
They paint a different picture of “Mizz” as a popular and fun-loving friend who overcame a troubled childhood and was devoted to creating a better future with his daughter and girlfriend.
“He was just a positive person,” says Marcus Colono, his 25-year-old brother. “He kept his head up when times were rough.”
“He was goofy, but he could be serious,” says Rosaleah Brown, a friend since middle school. “He was really fun, a person you’d want to hang out with.”
Home on Fairmont Street
Within the Colono’s two-floor apartment in Riverside, family photographs line the narrow stairwell that leads to Michael Colono’s upstairs bedroom.
Surrounded by flowers from last week’s wake, Marcus Colono sits in his brother’s old bedroom and talks about a young man who loved the Red Sox and video games but placed more of a priority on his family and his background.
Colono was the youngest of five children born to Gabriel and Ada Colono, Puerto Rican immigrants who came to Cambridge to start their family.
Colono’s father worked at the Necco factory in East Cambridge.
“We’re a pretty tight family, especially now,” Marcus Colono says.
All five Colono children still live in Cambridge, and the family gets together often.
Recently, the Colonos went bowling and out for pizza on a family outing.
“My mother won,” Marcus Colono says. “We were all happy.”