Mom of Youngstown murder victim: ‘My son always smiled’

Local News

"God says, 'Thou shalt not kill,'" said Condalese Cooper said when talking about the shooting of her son. "They killed my son."

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Condalese Cooper says it’s simple.

“God says, ‘Thou shalt not kill,'” Cooper said when talking about the shooting death of her son Ra’Mon early Tuesday after a fight at a South Avenue bar. “They killed my son.”

Condalese and her daughter, Alaysia Griffin, were in mourning Friday and were getting ready to visit the funeral home where Cooper’s body is, still trying to process the shock of learning of his death.

Police said Cooper was in a South Avenue bar when he got in a fight and security kicked both parties out of the bar. The argument, however, continued into the parking lot where Cooper was shot once in the chest. He crawled away into the middle of South Avenue, where he died.

Ramon Cooper, Youngstown murder victim

Police have a warrant for one person in connection with Cooper’s death. The warrant was issued Thursday.

Sitting in her home while her Pomeranian was watching the pair speak, Condalese said her son had a high-voltage smile.

“My son always smiled,” Condalese said. “He always laughed. Every day he called. He said, ‘Mom, I love you.’ I always wanted to be around him because of that smile. He would just the lift the whole room. He was a teddy bear.”

She acknowledged her son had problems in the past but added that was no excuse for him to be murdered.

“No one deserves to be killed,” she said.

Ramon Cooper, Youngstown murder victim

Condalese said she has a hard time figuring out why people feel they have to take someone’s life if they have a fight or disagreement.

“Is it worth it? Is it worth the crimes? You will never see this person again. Is it that serious you have to kill somebody?”

“I want things to change for these young black men. They need to come together. They need to stop the killing.”

Condalese said Cooper was close with her two younger children, a son who graduated from Ursuline High School and is now attending Youngstown State University and Griffin, who also attends Ursuline.

“He was a good person,” Griffin said of her brother. “He was always happy. He was just a good person to be around.”

The hardest thing to deal with, Griffin said, is “just realizing he’s gone and he’s never going to be able to be back and be in my life or my mom’s.”

Cooper’s death is the second homicide in Youngstown in 2020. In 2019, the city had 20 homicides.

Ramon Cooper, Youngstown murder victim

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