A shooting in Olney last night claimed the lives of a young man and his girlfriend. Police are now offering a $40,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer and said the incident may have been a case of witness retaliation, as the male victim recently testified in a years-old homicide case
Rodney Ramseur and Latia Jones, both 21, were sitting on the porch of Ramseur's home on the 200 block of West Sparks Street when, shortly before 8:30 p.m., a gunman opened fire.
Both victims were shot multiple times at close range, police said. Officers found Ramseur, who had managed to run a short distance, on the street near his house. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
Jones, of the 6100 block of North Fourth Street – less than a quarter mile away from Ramseur's home – was slumped over on the porch. She was rushed to Albert Einstein Medical Center, where she died around 9:40 p.m.
The two had recently begun dating. Police said they have received unofficial reports that Ramseur's sister, who is eight months pregnant, witnessed the shooting and was hospitalized with labor pains. She has since been released.
Social media feeds are abuzz with news of the victims' deaths. "Last night I lost a very good friend of mine. She was only 21 years old. Shot in the head point blank range," tweeted successful Philadelphia-born producer Andrew "Pop" Wansel. "She leaves behind a ton of friends, family, a son ... Philly has to do better. Rest well Latia Jones."
"It's crazy man she was with her boyfriend they was after him," wrote another man who was deeply shaken by Jones' death. "She was only 21 with a son."
"My pillows are drenched in tears," a woman posted in a heartbreaking string of tweets grieving Jones' death. "Latia I can't stop crying [please] I wish this was a dream. ... I woke up still crying R.I.P Latia. I love u so much and still can't believe its true. It hurt so bad to know I can't see ur beautiful smile." According to Jones' Facebook page, she was nicknamed "Dimpleface" for her distinctive grin and worked at a daycare center.
Many on the web also mourned Ramseur. "I understand the situation, but my heart bleeds for [Ramseur]," one user tweeted. "They ain't have to kill him like that && that girl was innocent too."
Ramseur was shot in a separate incident earlier this year, according to his Facebook page, which also states that he studied at Millersville University and Empire Beauty School.
"I got shot last nite I almost died in da [hospital] in so much pain," he posted on January 25, 2012. "If u f–k with me show love. ... lost a lot of blood."
"I got shot in my main [artery] I lost alot of blood I almost died," he wrote again the next day. "Friends n family please show some luv I need it. I guess [I'm] still here for a
"I just hopes this makes u slow down [and] choose another direction [in] life," a commenter responded. "It will," Ramseur replied. "I'm gonna change my ways."
His last status update was Saturday, two days before his death. "This goes for anyone keep my f––n name out y'all mouth," he posted. "[Don't] say n gonna do this n that do I'm really for whatever..."