Ramonita Jusino, a goal-oriented North Philadelphia teenager with big plans, dies at 19

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Editor’s Note: This obituary is presented in partnership with The Philadelphia Obituary Projecta nonprofit organization committed to memorializing the city’s homicide victims whose deaths have otherwise gone unrecognized.

Ramonita Jusino embodied the qualities of a Capricorn: goal-oriented, hard-working, and responsible. She identified so closely with her zodiac sign that last year she got a tattoo of the constellation on her upper right arm.

Ms. Jusino wanted to earn money so she could open a salon with her sister and travel. She was also interested in real estate and wanted to leave Philadelphia to find a better lifestyle.

So she didn’t mind that she had to work on her birthday, Jan. 12, as a night shift clerk at Walmart. She would still have one more shift to do, and then she was going to let loose and celebrate her 19th birthday with her sister, her boyfriend and her friends this weekend. She planned to wear head-to-toe white.

On Thursday, January 13, 2022, Ms. Jusino, at her grandmother’s house on the 200 block of West Glenwood Avenue in North Philadelphia, dressed in her Walmart uniform and about to leave for her night shift, was killed when a bullets were fired at her house around 9:40 p.m., hitting her in the chest. She was 19 one day ago.

Police say three men jumped out of a light-colored Chevrolet Impala and fired at least 20 shots at the house across the street. The target of the shooting is believed to be a male relative. The police made no arrests.

“I still can’t believe it,” said her mother, Angela Morales. “Sometimes I wish my phone would ring and she’d be the one to say, ‘Syke, mom, I got you.’ There are days when I can’t get out of bed so much I miss her.I always thought home was the safest place, but it’s not.

Ms Jusino was born in 2003 in Camden to Morales and Jorge Jusino five months premature and weighing one pound. She spent several months in the hospital, and when it was time to go home, Morales dressed her in doll clothes from Toys “R” Us.

Mrs. Jusino had a sister, Kelixa Jusino, who is eight months older, and they were inseparable. For four months each year, from Ms. Jusino’s birthday in January until her sister’s birthday in April, the two were the same age.

She also had three paternal sisters: Yamillet, Carmen and Yasmarie.

Ms. Jusino graduated from the Philadelphia Virtual Academy in 2021, and the family went to the Kalahari, an indoor water park in the Poconos, to celebrate. They watched his graduation on YouTube in the car and cheered when his name was called.

Rather than launching her career right away, Ms. Jusino took a year off to work, save money and develop the salon concept with her sister. She and her boyfriend were also looking forward to a trip to Jamaica and are moving in together. She wanted to start a family once her career took off.

“She had all these plans,” her sister Yamillet said. “She knew what she wanted and her smile was contagious. She had a big heart. »

Ms. Jusino was fun and outgoing and enjoyed smoking hookah and sipping Hennessy, cracking jokes and playing goofy. Her favorite foods were blueberry pancakes and chicken Alfredo, and she loved cartoons and drawing. Ms. Jusino and her closest sister loved doing their hair, applying makeup and posting photos on Instagram.

Prior to working at Walmart, the two had worked together at a pizza place. Morales was concerned for their safety and she was relieved when they resigned. She never expected anything to happen to her daughter when she was just standing in her grandmother’s living room.

“I want justice for my daughter,” Morales said. “I know it won’t bring her back to me – that’s what I really want – but it would bring some peace to my heart. It’s inhuman how this happened, especially for a beautiful, innocent soul like her.

After Mrs. Jusino’s death, her four sisters got the same tattoo that reads: “She’s gone but she’s everywhere.”

A reward of up to $20,000 if offered to anyone who presents information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Ramonita’s murder. Anonymous calls can be submitted by calling the Citizens Crime Commission at 215-546-TIPS.

Resources are available for individuals and communities who have experienced gun violence in Philadelphia. Click on here for more information.

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