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Sep 18, 2007 — When a popular William Penn High School graduate was killed in a crowded city park last month, authorities thought many would come forward to name his killer.

People might know who killed 19-year-old Ricardo Banks, but they're not telling police.

"We are getting information that there were a lot of people in, around and near the park that night," York City Police Detective Dana Ward said Monday. "We're having a hard time getting people to come forward."

Banks was shot in the back of the head at Williams Park about 9 p.m. Aug. 30.

The city park sits in the center of a Y where Cottage Hill Road and Billet Avenue intersect. More than a dozen people were in the park when Banks was killed.

According to police reports, two cars pulled up in front of a small shelter in the park. Minutes later, the shooting began.

Those in the park scattered, running in several directions to avoid flying bullets.

Banks died the next morning at York Hospital.

The day after Banks' death, high school administrators set up grief counseling, as they have in the past when those with close ties to the school have been killed.

But they thought the well-liked, 2006 graduate's death required more, so they asked members of his family to address those most affected.


"People who I'd never seen break down were breaking down," said Dominic Gould, a senior at the school. "Some of the people with the hardest appearances were breaking down on the ground crying."

About 200 students gathered in the library Aug. 31 to hear Banks' relatives speak.

"Do not go on the path of revenge, because that just keeps the cycle going," Gould said the students were told. "We need all this nonsense to stop. Why are we running around killing each other?"

York Pastor Troy Hopkins, of the Heart of God Christian Worship Center, was one of the members of the Black Ministers Association of York to speak to students.

"Some people say there's a reason why God took (Banks)," Hopkins told them. "That's not true. This had to do with the gunman making a personal choice."

Banks' death was one of five killings in York last month. His case is the city's only unsolved homicide in 2007.

Ward said police have followed up every lead and tip they've received, including those that named possible suspects. For help in solving the case, investigators are willing to keep witnesses' identities confidential.

"We need the public's help with this one," Ward said.


If you have information on the Aug. 30 killing of Ricardo Banks, call York City Police at 846-1234, 849-2219 or the department's anonymous tip line at 849-2204.