Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sadness for Father's Day

Sadness for Father's Day
Shooter Gets 23 yrs for Gunning Down Father of 4

BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 11- District Attorney Robert T. Johnson announced the sentencing of Mark Laramore to a term of 23 years behind bars plus five years post release supervision for the killing of social worker and father of three Raymond Ortiz, weeks after fellow shooter, Shawn White, was sentenced to the same term for the same charge, manslaughter in the first degree.

 Laramore, who celebrated his birthday yesterday, was 17 years old at the time of the crime.

The 34-year-old Ortiz, who had a fourth child on the way, was gunned down as he took a rare night off from the two full-time jobs he was holding down to care for his family. In the wee hours of August 1, 2009, he was returning home from visiting friends in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx, when he dozed off while waiting for the BX22 bus, one he would never board.

Instead, he was approached by two armed men unbeknownst to him, White and Laramore, who, perhaps startled when the suddenly-awakened dad stood up, opened fire at close range, nearly a half-dozen .22-caliber bullets hitting their mark.

Laramore and White, along with two other friends, fled, but within days, were both turned in to police by their parents.

“Coping isn’t easy.  I have too much love in my heart to hate.  But the pain we carry is undeniable,” reads the statement by Lisa Ramos Ortiz, the victim's fiancée and mother of the son, Phoenix, who was born six months after his father’s killing. "He worked 16 hours a day up to 7 days a week to make sure our children would not need for anything, [telling me] ‘That’s what real men do,’” Ramos recalls. "He was selfless.  He was loved by his co-workers, his employers, because ‘everyone loved Raymond."

Adds the victim’s sister, Maribel Ortiz, in her statement to the court:  “There is always a song, a scent, a location that reminds me of Ray, and when it happens, for a brief moment, my heart aches and an indescribable pain takes over my whole body and soul.

"His children are the ones who continue to suffer the most. He was their hero, their protector, their teacher. Phoenix, who is an identical clone of my brother Ray, will never know how funny, energetic and great his daddy was.”

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