EXCLUSIVE Murder Victim's Mother: "It's devastating"

Family members plead to the community for answers, closure

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By Monique Williams

Lexington County, S.C. (WOLO) -- Local authorities say the murder of 31-year-old Brandon Ratliff will be solved with input from the community, as investigators have very little to go on. Meanwhile, the victim's family is planning a funeral with more questions than answers surrounding Brandon's death.

As people ran for their lives, hearing a gun go off in the parking lot of the Cockpit Bar and Grill in Lexington County over the weekend,
31-year-old Brandon Ratliff was on the ground, authorities say, bleeding to death from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

News of the incident brought Ratliff's family from Virginia to find answers.

"I never thought i would bury my son," said Pamela Ratliff, Brandon's mother. "It's not the natural order of things."

Pamela and Brandon's sister, Briana, want those who saw something that night to say something.

"If it was someone you cherished and would take a bullet for you and lost them like that, wouldn't you want someone to come forward?" said Briana Ratliff.

Solid leads are slow-coming, according to Lexington County sheriff's deputies.

"We have not developed a person of interest or anyone we think is a suspect that we can call the shooter," said Lt. Scottie Frier. "We really need some help [from the community]."

Investigators say Ratliff was not the intended target and was trying to keep a verbal altercation from escalating when he was shot. Friends transported the victim to the hospital in a private car. He died soon thereafter.

Police not only want to apprehend a suspect but also get justice for a grieving family. They urge, submit anonymous tips to crime stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. You may get a cash reward.

Pamela Ratliff hopes authorities get the information they need so they may have some closure as a family.

"Please come forward."

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