By DAFNEY TALES & CHRISTINE OLLEY,Philadelphia Daily News
"With one arm clutching a teddy bear, Nikisha Ramsey hugged three teenaged boys who had come by to offer condolences over the loss of her 17-year-old son, Dwayne. 'Ya'll be careful,' she cautioned as they left her North Philadelphia rowhouse. Just moments before, she had arrived from the Medical Examiner's Office, where she had identified the body of her son, who was killed near their home Tuesday night. Police said that Dwayne Canty, who lived with his mother on Newkirk Street near Susquehanna Avenue, had been shot to death about a half-block away after being robbed at gunpoint on his way to a nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken to get dinner for his family.
He didn't make it far. He was approached by two individuals who shot him several times at close range and stole about $120 to $140, said Homicide Capt. James Clark. His killers fled on foot, leaving him lying in the cold in a vacant lot, Clark said. Canty was pronounced dead shortly after at Temple University Hospital.
'It's a senseless killing, it's a cold-blooded killing,' Clark said before asking for the public's help in apprehending the killers.
'Here you have a 17-year-old male who's never had any problems with the police, was in a GED program, and once he graduated from his GED program, he had plans to go into the Navy,' he said.
'It's senseless and we're going to do our best to bring these individuals to justice.'
Clark implored anyone with information about the killing to call homicide detectives at 215-686- 3334.
Earlier Tuesday, Dwayne had gone for his annual medical check-up, his mother said yesterday. He'd just gotten paid from his job at the McDonald's in Plymouth Meeting.
The family returned home to watch the presidential inauguration and remained in high spirits the rest of the night, she said.
Later on, she grew hungry and Dwayne offered to treat.
He left and almost immediately Ramsey said she felt something was wrong.
'I heard the shots and I got a sinking feeling,' she said, her voice quivering.
She flung the blanket that was draped over her onto the floor, threw on a pair of pants, and, forgoing a coat, ran out.
On the corner, police and a crowd of curious neighbors had already congregated by the time she arrived. Ramsey tried to reach her son, who lay riddled with bullets on a small grassy area, but was held back by cops.
'I just kept thinking, 'Why my son? Why my son?' she said. 'My son didn't do nothing but go to school, work and be with his girlfriend'.
'He worked for that money they took it from him.'
At a vigil held last night, supporters huddled next to the lot in the freezing cold, long candles held in their gloved hands. A man called for sinners to repent and requested that neighbors give donations to the family. One woman shouted for the community's help. Ramsey continued her plea.
'I want to know what happened to my son,' she said, surrounded by neighbors.
Tears spilled as a girl sang the gospel song, 'Still I Rise.'
Afterwards, Dwayne's younger brother, Deandre Ramsey, 15, headed home with his head bowed, shuffling his feet against broken ice on the sidewalk.
'I feel hurt, sad,' said the soft-spoken youngster. 'I know he's in a better place, but I want him down here with me.'"
No little man you don't want him down here with you, because chances are he would meet the same fate again. And Ms. Ramsey you aren't the only one who wants to know what happened to your son, I want to know too.
Yes it's me, field, the party pooper , bringing once again a dose of reality to these cheerful and euphoric post inauguration times. So here we are in Killadelphia, just two hours from the coronation, and it's more teddy bears, flowers, and another funeral home getting paid.
We have been down this road before, and everyone who comments here has grappled with this problem and struggled to find the answers. The truth is, we are still struggling, and those of us who care are out here every day fighting the good fight. A fight, that sadly, we are still losing. And as much as I wish it wasn't true, somehow I don't think having a man leading our country who looks like the perpetrators and the victims will make any difference.
"The family went home to watch the inauguration and remained in high spirits"
If they only knew.