SAN DIEGO -*- The brothers of an 11-year old murder victim received the 2011 Patricia Lewis Witness of the Year Award for their courageous testimony during the trial.
On June 21, 2006, defendant James Bagsby, then 15, approached children playing basketball at Martin Luther King Middle School in San Bernardino. According to prosecutors, Bagsby and a fellow gang member asked, “Where are you from?” and “Do you gang bang?” The children replied that they didn’t gang bang and the two gang members walked away, prosecutors said.
But moments later, Bagsby pulled a handgun from his waistband and fired 11 shots at the children on the court, striking Anthony Ramirez once in the back. The boy was dead less than an hour later.
Many of the children present at the shooting testified in the March 2010 trial, but it was the testimony of Henry and Joseph Ramirez that “touched everyone who heard it,” Deputy District Attorney Jim McGee said in a press release.
“Through their pain and courage,” McGee said, “Bagsby was convicted of seconddegree murder with use of a firearm and 10 counts of assault with a firearm and was sentenced to 107 years to life in prison.”
Five years after the shooting, on June 21, Henry and Joseph Ramirez accepted their awards at a ceremony in San Diego and dedicated them to the memory of their murdered younger brother, Anthony, with a short acceptance speech.
“I can’t think of any other way to honor his name than accepting this award on his behalf,” Henry Ramirez said during his speech.