Family, friends hold vigil for York City homicide victim
Family and friends gathered Monday afternoon to remember homicide victim Ruby Mercado, killed early Saturday morning in York City.
Mercado, 27, of the 600 block of West Market Street, was found fatally shot in a van on North Hartley Street, York City Police said.
An autopsy Monday morning at Allentown's Lehigh Valley Hospital determined she was shot multiple times, according to the York County Coroner's Office, which has ruled her death a homicide.
York City Police said Monday they have an arrest warrant for Kameron Orr, 24, of 542 W. King St. on a charge of homicide in Mercado's death. Anyone with information about the shooting or Orr's whereabouts is encouraged to contact the York City Police Department at (717) 846-1234 or Crime Stoppers at 755-TIPS.
Mercado's survivors include an 8-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter, who also is the daughter of Orr, according to Mercado's family.
Vigil: Between 40 and 50 friends and family members started gathering around 5:30 p.m. Monday at the site of Mercado's death. Her family, including mother Tina Sparks, sister Yolanada Shaw, and Mercado's two children, joined arms inside the rectangle formed of spray paint marking the position of the tires of the van she was found in.
Someone brought a blackboard with photos of Mercado, which was placed on the sidewalk along with flowers, candles and balloons.
"We want justice for my sister," Shaw said. "I want whoever did this to come forward for the kids. My niece and nephew have to grow up without a mom."
Shaw's fiance, Eddie Campos describes Mercado as a "strong woman" and that "she would do anything for anyone." He also added that she was proud to be starting a new job.
'My baby girl': Sparks said she hopes Orr contacts detectives.
"That's all I ask," she said. "She was my baby girl."
Orr and Mercado were no longer romantically involved, Sparks said.
Mercado's family members said she was in the process of trying to obtain a protection from abuse order against Orr.
Police warn that Orr should be considered armed and dangerous.
Lt. Troy Bankert, who supervises the city detective bureau, said officers were called to the 200 block of North Hartley Street about 3 a.m. for a report of a woman slumped over in a van. They found Mercado dead, shot multiple times, he said.
Earlier shooting: Orr also is wanted for an unrelated York City shooting that happened a month ago.
Charging documents allege he was at a home in the 700 block of Mason Avenue about 11:45 p.m. Aug. 1 when he pulled out a gun and fired multiple times at Willie Butler Jr.
Butler, 34, of York, was shot in the right arm and suffered a grazing shoulder wound, according to charging documents.
In that case, an arrest warrant for Orr has been issued, charging him with aggravated assault, discharging a firearm into an occupied structure and reckless endangerment.
Documents do not indicate why investigators believe Butler was shot, and Bankert did not return messages seeking that information.
For the vigil, Sparks had T-shirts made to honor her daughter, saying "R.I.P. Ruby, we love you."
Family friend Lisa Fetrow described Mercado as caring and selfless.
"Ruby would be there if you had a problem, even though she was going through stuff herself," Fetrow said. "She was very happy all the time, no matter what."
Devoted mom: Mercado was a devoted mother, according to the family friend.
"Her children were (the) biggest part of her life," Fetrow said.
Originally from Hanover, Mercado moved in with her mother and stepfather in York City to save money, family said.
She was supposed to start a new job at a local McDonald's on Monday, according to Fetrow.
"We will get justice for her," Sparks vowed. "Whoever did it, they will be caught."
Shot in back: Orr was himself a shooting victim about two years ago.
He suffered two gunshot wounds to the back on Sept. 28, 2013, near the corner of Rathton Road and Edgar Street in York City, police said at the time.
Anyone with information on Orr's whereabouts or Mercado's slaying is asked to call York City detectives at (717) 849-2219, or call the city's anonymous crime tip line, (717) 849-2204. Or text a tip to "YORKTIPS" at 847411.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com.