Alejandro Santiago was an early witness on Jan. 4 when Mt. Airy resident Bernard Ray died from gun violence on the 3700 block of N. Delhi Street in Hunting Park.
The pastor, who lives on the block, says it’s the first time he can remember this happened on his street.
“It is new for us,” he said.
On Saturday, family, friends and community members held a vigil at the location where, two weeks earlier, their beloved father, son, friend and neighbor Bernard Ray, 39, was killed.
The suspect of this murder is still at large. Several members of the community spoke out at the vigil in hopes of finding closure.
A reward of $20,000 is being offered for information that leads to the conviction and arrest of a suspect.
“There are people, in this city, who know what happened that terrible night. We are asking someone to come forward — and have some soul — and do the right thing,” said Mark McDonald, press secretary to Mayor Michael Nutter.
McDonald is a Mt. Airy resident who said he saw “Bern Bern” grow up with his own eyes.
At the vigil Bernard Ray, Sr. warned that the suspect remains at large and the same can happen to other families. He asked for love, support and help in bringing justice to the death of his son.
“I don’t want his passing to be another statistic, just data that just goes into some system,” said Vernon Price, who works for the city’s district attorney.
Longtime friend Steve Galdy said Ray was a “positive force” in the community and hopes the vigil brings awareness about gun violence in the community and throughout the city.
“All these people, it shows how much he was loved” said Ray’s girlfriend, Tovah Mclymont, after the vigil.