Retaliation probed as possible Olney slaying motive

Rodney Ramseur and Latia Jones

May 15, 2012 8:24:11 PM PDT
He testified in a murder case last week and now he's dead along with an innocent bystander. Now Rodney Ramseur's family wants answers.

"They should have protected him, that's all I know," Ramseur's father, Rodney Ramseur Sr., told Action News.

The police were stationed outside 21-year-old Rodney Ramseur's house Tuesday. His family says, "too little, too late."

Rodney was gunned down on the front porch around 8:30 Monday night. His former girlfriend, 21-year-old Latia Jones, was shot in the head.

Last week, a statement Rodney had given to police was read in court implicating a friend of his in a two-year-old murder case. From that moment on, Rodney's family says he was labeled a snitch.

They want to know why he wasn't given protection.

"It wasn't even offered to us. We as a family didn't know that that was even an option to us," Said Rameur's father.

The police say protection is routinely offered to witnesses in murder cases. They say Rodney's testimony last week is just one possible motive for his killing.

"Obviously we're looking at if there was any retaliation involved. But also by virtue of his past . . . I mean he's known to police, very well known to police in that area so it may not be the reason he was killed," said Philadelphia Police Captain James Clark

Police say there's no apparent reason for the murder of Latia Jones. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Latia leaves behind a three-year-old son. She was an only child.

Her mother, Alvita Davis, had a tearful message for the killer.

"You took a beautiful life. You took away a daughter, you took away a mother, you took away a niece, you took away a friend. You took away everything from us," she said.

Latia had been studying for her G.E.D. Classmates came by to share their grief with her mother.

Rodney's family says he may have been in trouble in the past, but had been going to school to become a barber. His sister says he was her protector.

"The next time I have to talk to my brother is when he's laying in the casket and when they putting him six feet under and I'm looking at his tombstone," said Alyssa Ramseur.

Rodney's family says this is why people are afraid to cooperate with the police.

Nonetheless, the police are looking for help to identify the killer, noting there's a $40,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction.