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'Not worth it': Sister of 16-year-old killed in Lancaster stabbing says fighting should stop

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Benjamin Ramos

Before Wednesday night, Nalila Ramos knew that her younger brother had been caught up in a dispute.

It started a few days prior, when someone threw a rock in her boyfriend’s window, she said. Accusations went back and forth, and a fight to settle the dispute between the teenagers was planned for Wednesday night.

“Things got out of hand,” Ramos said.

The fight ended with her 16-year-old brother Benjamin Ramos being stabbed in the torso and taken to a hospital, where he died early Thursday.

“A 16-year-old lost his life over something so little and pointless that could have been resolved,” said Nalila Ramos, who is 17 and just graduated from McCaskey High School.

“I want my word to get out. This drama and beef ain’t worth it,” she said.

Ongoing investigation

As of Friday afternoon, police had not charged anyone in connection to the stabbing.

Benjamin’s death was ruled a homicide after an autopsy Friday morning by Lancaster County Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni. Benjamin died from a single stab wound to the body, Diamantoni said.

The stabbing happened around 9:14 p.m. Wednesday in the 900 block of Fremont Street. Police were dispatched for a report of a fight, and found a group of people around Benjamin. There were two groups of people involved, police said.

Nalila was not at the scene, but from what she’s learned, someone grabbed Benjamin’s long, dark hair before stabbing him, she said.

She spoke with a detective late Wednesday and again on Thursday.

“They have a couple of suspects,” she said.

The fight happened near Lafayette Elementary School.

School spokesman Adam Aurand said there has been no other out of the ordinary activity. They have security cameras outside and inside the building, he said.

“We are cooperating with police,” Aurand said.

School District of Lancaster offered grief counseling to students Thursday and Friday and will again offer support at the McCaskey campus on Monday.

‘In a split second’

JPM Graduation 2019-6.jpg

Nalila Ramos spoke about her struggles and how she has overcome them to be where she is tonight. McCaskey High School's commencement ceremony was held at the Lancaster County Convention Center Thursday June 6, 2019.

Benjamin was an upbeat, happy-go-lucky teen who cared deeply about his family, his sister said.

He was “never in a bad mood,” she said. He played a lot of basketball.

At her graduation June 6, Nalila urged her classmates to make the world a better place.

“I know life after graduation won’t be easy for any of us,” she said.

Her family is only beginning to grieve the loss of Benjamin.

“A lot of people would tell me you can lose your life in a split second,” Nalila said.

She said she never took it seriously.

“When somebody close to you is dead, it changes your whole mindset,” she said.

On Friday night, friends and family planned to gather on Fremont Street for a candlelight vigil in Benjamin’s memory.