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Arrests in Tuesday’s murder offer hope to father of victim from unsolved October case

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Posted at 12:03 AM, Jul 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-04 00:03:49-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Tuesday night's killing was just two blocks from the unsolved October murder of 24-year-old Nathan Ratigan.

Police sources say at this point, they do not believe the cases are linked, but do say there are some interesting developments.

"I start to laugh and joke, start to put it behind me and one thought swoops in and I'm on my knees again, you know,” said Mark Ratigan, eight months removed from that chilly October crime scene.

He still wears the pain of losing his only son.  "It's right in the Richmond Police Department's backyard,’ he said.  “It's like a block and a half away.  It's like it's right underneath their noses and they're saying ‘look what we can do.’"

Tuesday night and two blocks west of Nathan Ratigan’s October 2012 murder scene, detectives were working another one.

Police say first there was a robbery at First and Grace Streets. Then, less than an hour-and-a-half  later, a call for a shooting came in a few blocks north. Police arrived on scene to find a man murdered in an alley off Marshall Street.

Multiple police sources tell CBS-6 that the robbery and murder are likely connected.

"You don't know what's on their agenda, you know, who's next? Who are they targeting?” said barber June Nelson who has worked downtown in Jackson Ward for 29 years.

He says he's seen spurts of violent crime throughout the years, but says this time it seems concentrated within a four- or five-block radius.

"It's a major concern because customers don't know what they're walking into,” said Wilson.

And walking is something that haunts Mark Ratigan. He says his son's killer is "walking" around and he hopes information from the most recent homicide somehow sheds light on who killed his son.

"If they are out there watching, we are not giving up,” said Ratigan.  “I hope they catch the SOB's and then maybe we will have a little closure.”

Police sources confirmed late Wednesday night, they have at least two of last night's robbery suspects in custody and are looking for more.

If you have any information that can help police solve these crimes-call 780-1000.