Yvonne Raquel Ramirez, 19, of Baytown, Texas, allegedly murdered her New Year’s date, shooting him and taking his wallet from him as he was dying. Rameriz made plans to meet up with Josh McKinney, also 19 and an aspiring Marine, on December 31st.
According to the case file, a witness saw McKinney put Ramirez in a chokehold around 4:30 A.M. on New Year’s morning as he pressed a pistol to her head. The bystander ran from the scene to call 911 and heard gunfire a few moments later.
McKinney was found in the street, and Ramirez had a gunshot wound in her shoulder. The woman told investigators she had fired the weapon in self-defense. However, over the course of the investigation, authorities began to believe Ramirez had planned to rob McKinney of his firearm prior to their encounter. She stole the gun and demanded $2,000 of its return during the incident. When the tables turned and he fought back, she murdered McKinney.
The details of Ramirez’s self-defense story just didn’t add up. She allegedly first claimed McKinney was shot and killed when the gun dropped. But, later, she told detectives she grabbed the weapon and fired in self-defense. Another witness interviewed by police said Ramirez tried to manipulate McKinney’s body after the shooting.
McKinney was a graduate of the Texas Challenge Academy operated by the Texas National Guard, and seemingly had many friends and family wishing him the best with his future plans. Regina Willis, one of McKinney’s former instructors, called him a “standout cadet.” She added, Bottom of Form
“Josh was an amazing young man. He would give all he had to anyone he loved. This death doesn’t seem real.”
Alyssa Solomon, another instructor, said McKinney was goofy and always smiling, but determined to get good grades. “He always wanted to be a Marine. He really wanted to serve his country,” she said, adding that last summer, she was looking for people to donate fishing poles for an event and McKinney volunteered. “He was like, ‘I can donate, and I’ll come by after I get off work tomorrow.’ I wouldn’t even expect a young kid to offer to do stuff like that. He was mature for his age.”
“I feel like maybe he was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Solomon said of McKinney’s death. “I just hope really that’s what happened…He was someone everyone wanted to be around. He was a great kid and a great student, and I’m never going to forget him.”
Another friend, Jose Quinton, 18, said McKinney quickly befriended him. “He would give the shirt off his back to a stranger if they needed it,” Quinton recalled. “He was always trying to make someone laugh and feel better. He was the most authentic person I can think of—just as real as they come.”
Ramirez is the mother of a young daughter. She had posted on Facebook that everything in her life was falling into place just one night before she murdered McKinney. How quickly circumstances can change.
The woman is now being held on a $50,000 bond. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is investigating whether others were involved in the crime.