Did saying no to drugs get teen killed?

February 26, 2008 3:59:12 PM PST
The family of a murdered teenager says he was just trying to do the right thing before he was gunned down. He apparently said no when someone offered to sell him drugs.

Police are looking for his suspected killer, another teenager. David Ramirez is only 17-years-old and he is considered armed and dangerous.

The young suspect's father was charged in a separate murder last year.

"It is my worst nightmare come true," said Mirta Rodriguez.

She is mourning her 16-year-old son, Mark. He was shot to death Saturday afternoon outside their apartment house at 7th and Venango. Rodriguez heard multiple gunshots, and then looked out of her second floor window.

"Somebody laying there and I knew it was him. I knew it," she said.

Police said the suspect, Ramirez, also lives in this dangerous section of Hunting Park. Police say they have the killing on surveillance video from a nearby store.

"What we have is a confrontation that originates over how people are looking at each other. That escalates into a verbal exchange. Ultimately, a gun is produced and someone is shot and killed," said Capt. Michael Costello

The victim's family believes he was killed for refusing to buy drugs.

Police believe Ramirez is hiding out somewhere in the neighborhood, perhaps being harbored by family members.

His father, Teddy Ramirez, was arrested on murder charges back in mid-December for the late November murder of a local man named Ramon Alivo.

That killing took place here in Hunting Park as well. The Ramirez family had recently moved here from Puerto Rico where Teddy Ramirez is being investigated for several violent crimes, including murders.

Police say anyone caught helping or harboring Ramirez will face charges.