Published On: Tue, Oct 9th, 2012

Virginia man, Nathan Ratigan, shot and killed at birthday party when ‘party crashers’ wouldn’t leave

A Richmond man was shot Sunday after a confrontation between people who were celebrating a birthday and several party crashers who refused to leave, witnesses said.

Nathan Ratigan

The Richmond Times Dispatch detailed the events which left Nathan Ratigan, age 24, fatally shot outside the home where the party was being held.

Jeffrey Sharpe, Ratigan’s friend, said he came under fire as he pulled his wounded friend back toward the home. “I took him inside and put a towel on his chest,” he said.

Ratigan, described as a generous young man with a passion for music, was pronounced dead about 90 minutes later at VCU Medical Center.

“Senseless, murderous act,” said the victim’s sister, Rebecca Ratigan, who was in tears and nearly inconsolable. “Nobody deserves that.”

The trouble began when two uninvited men arrived at the party, according to witnesses.

“One sat on the couch and acted like he was asleep,” Sharpe said. “The other one tried walking around the living room trying to snoop through things.”

People at the party did not know the men and asked them to leave, Sharpe said. The two men left and ultimately came back with some other men.

Outside the house, an argument ensued between the two sides, with the birthday celebrants telling the uninvited men to leave. But the men would not go.

“They said, ‘What’s wrong with coming in and drinking some beers?’ ” Sharpe recalled. “As soon as we told them to leave, everything went south.”

Sharpe said that one of the uninvited men pulled a gun, aimed it at another man’s face and took his backpack. Everyone scattered when they spotted the weapon, Sharpe said.

After Ratigan was shot, the same man fired more shots as he and the other party crashers ran.

Alex Queen, said in an earlier interview Monday that a second man also had fired shots. It could not immediately be determined which account is correct. Queen was not at the party but said he was given an account by two friends who were there.

The police said the shooting occurred during a confrontation involving four black men in their 20s. Authorities said one was wearing an orange polo shirt and gold necklace and that another was wearing a blue polo shirt. One of the others had on a plaid shirt and the fourth man wore a gray polo shirt, police said.

Sharpe said that the two initial party crashers had been flashing gang signs. Queen said he also was told that some of the men were throwing hand signs.

Police declined to say whether they believe the slaying was in any way gang-related.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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