Around 3:00 Sunday morning, he was shot to death in the 100 block of Dewey Street in West Philadelphia, during a dispute with another man about double-parking in the street.
"And it's just a really sad thing, it's a really sad thing," said Mercedes Echols.
Echols' sister, Syreeta Manire, was Ellis' fianc?e.
Ellis had dropped Manire off at her home and was looking to park his Dodge Charger on the block.
Police say the suspected shooter, a 25-year-old off-duty armed security guard, was double-parked in his SUV, waiting to pick up his sister from a party, also on the block.
The two men got into a fight when the security guard wouldn't move his car to let Ellis by. Both men were armed.
"He then pulls out his gun, my sister's boyfriend said that he's licensed to carry too, like, what does that mean? He had his badge out and the next thing you knew, he came over to the car, held his arm out and starting shooting," said Echols.
Manire ran into her house when the shots rang out, screaming for relatives to call police.
When police arrived, Ellis was dead of a gunshot wound to the chest. Some witnesses said he fired at the security guard first.
That security guard, and other witnesses, were taken in for questioning.
Later Sunday morning, an officer was back on the block, handing out leaflets urging neighbors to report unfamiliar cars and other suspicious activity, in an effort to curb gun violence.
Marvin Ponder, who's lived on the street for two years and heard the shots, hopes the violence stops.
"They need to do something about it real quick. There's too many people getting killed out here in these streets," said Ponder.
Meanwhile, homicide detectives continue to investigate and no charges have officially been filed.