munoz gofundme 09152020

The family of Ricardo Munoz, who was shot and killed by a Lancaster city police officer Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses.

An autopsy was completed Tuesday morning on the 27-year-old Lancaster man fatally shot by a Lancaster police officer Sunday night and the family has made funeral arrangements.

Lancaster County Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni said the autopsy showed that Ricardo Miguel Muñoz died of gunshot wounds and that the death is a homicide. Diamantoni would not say how many times Munoz was shot, citing the county district attorney's office investigation of the shooting. According to a family member, he was shot three times.

The district attorney's office is investigating whether the shooting was warranted. Homicide is the death of one person at the hands of another and can result in no criminal charges if it is deemed justified, or it can result in varying degrees of murder or criminal homicide charges. 

The officer, whom police are not identifying by name, shot Muñoz about 4:30 p.m. Sunday on a sidewalk several houses down from his parents' row house on Laurel Street in the city's southwest neighborhood.  

Body camera footage the police department released Sunday night shows Muñoz coming out of the house, knife in hand, and chasing the officer, who runs and fires several shots, striking Muñoz.

Muñoz’s family said he was mentally ill and had not been taking his medication. They said Munoz was incoherent and acting out on Sunday before the shooting, and although he had a knife, the family said he was not being violent. Family members said they were trying to find out how to have him involuntarily committed on Sunday and had called a crisis number and a non-emergency police number before being directed to call 911.

Deborah Muñoz, 38, said a public viewing will be held 5-8 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m.-noon Friday at the Melanie B. Scheid Funeral Directors & Cremation Services, 317 E. Orange Street, Lancaster, followed by a private burial. 

While the public is welcome, she said, "We want to keep it very respectful."

Deborah Muñoz created a GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $5,000 for funeral costs. As of 6:10 p.m. Tuesday, $5,095 had been raised, with an anonymous donor having given $3,500. Deborah Muñoz earlier in the day that her mother would decide what to do with any excess donations, but that they to do something to honor Ricardo's memory.

"If my brother got the help he needed, we wouldn't be in this situation," she said.


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