Neighbors report large brawl before teen fatally stabbed in Lancaster

LANCASTER, Pa. - Police identify the teenager fatally stabbed during a fight Wednesday evening in Lancaster.

The victim identified as 16-year-old Benjamin Ramos, a student at McCaskey High School.

It was the first day of summer break for students in the School District of Lancaster; for many teenagers, it's time to celebrate, but all neighbors saw on Fremont Street was a big fight.

"All of a sudden, I heard all this ruckus, there was a bunch of kids screaming and yelling," said Louise Sheaffer, a 20-year resident of Fremont Street.

Before the fight, neighbors say they saw at least 20 teenagers hanging out near Fremont Street - some on the road and others at Layfayette Elementary School's playground.

Residents say their quiet blocked erupted into chaos around 9 p.m. - screaming, yelling, and fists flying.

It turned deadly when police say someone involved in the melee pulled a knife on 16-year-old Benjamin Ramos of Lancaster.

"I have a 17 year-old so that's really scary. That's very scary for me to think that. My kids like to come out here, play out front. [They ask] 'hey, can we go down to the park?', as of right now, my answer is no to that cause it's unsafe," said Nicole Chamberlin, who lives on Fremont Street.

"It's very scary," added Sheaffer. "Just the other day, Friday, we went away for two hours, and the side of our window was broken, our storm window, and the little pane on our side window. It's getting bad down here."

Neighbors say part of the problem is large groups of kids hanging out on the street and at the Layfayette Elementary School Playground.

"There is a lot down there," described Sheaffer. "You can count like 30 kids sometimes and the language and stuff like that that comes out of their mouth is unbelievable."

"A lot of petty arguments - kids being kids, but it never should've escalated to anything it escalated to," added Chamberlin.

Many neighbors don't know exactly what but say something needs to change.

"I just wish parents would be more understanding with their children and do things with them instead of letting them run loose," said Sheaffer.

"Whether it be more police presence or more security cameras, or maybe one of the 'Eye in the Sky' like they have in the downtown city. Put one here, something," said Chamberlin.

"This was once a great neighborhood. I loved it," said Sheaffer. "Now, you're scared. You just don't know what's going to happen next."

Neighbors say after the fight ended some kids took off running, but others stayed and tried to help Ramos.

Counselors will be available Friday for students who need grief counseling.

Police are trying to find anyone who would have video of the incident.

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