Police signs will raise money for Wawa shooting victims and their families

Upper Macungie Township is the latest police department to have yard signs for residents to show their support of the force, but these placards will also be used to help the victims of a shocking and senseless crime.

Upper Macungie will be selling the signs for $10 a piece at this year’s National Night Out event on Tuesday at Lone Lane Park, with 100% of the proceeds going to the victims of the deadly Wawa shooting this past April.

Ramon Ramirez, 31, was killed and another man was shot and severely injured on April 21, before gunman Za Uk Lian died by suicide, prosecutors said.

Ramirez, known as Junior, was filling up his work truck at the busy Wawa when he was shot and killed. He is survived by his wife and three children. The wounded man, whom investigators have not identified, is in a long-term rehabilitation facility, police Lt. Peter Nickischer said.

“They were both working their jobs, stopping at Wawa like so many other people,” Nickischer said. “It’s such a tragic situation.”

Police Chief Michael Sitoski discussed holding a fundraiser for the shooting victims and their families.

At the same time, residents have asked about yard signs and the department has been talking off and on about having signs made, “but it was just something that never happened,” Nickischer said.

Police looked at printing signs as a fundraiser for the shooting victims, but “the signs aren’t cheap to make” and productions costs would cut into the funds raised, Nickischer said.

Then Carl Schmoyer III, of Schmoyer Funeral Home in Breinigsville, stepped in.

Schmoyer, who has known Nickischer for years, reached out to the department to ask what police would need this year for their popular National Night Out event. When told of the fundraiser idea, Schmoyer immediately jumped on it and was very excited, Nickischer said.

Schmoyer offered to pay to print 1,000 signs, as long as 100% of the proceeds went to the Wawa shooting victims.

“These are great people, generous people,” Nickischer said. “This is something we can do to step up...It’s a wonderful feeling for the police department to be involved in that. It’s really an honor to go above and beyond.”

Schmoyer spoke of the horrible crime, and the need to continue supporting the victims and their families.

“This has changed their lives forever. This could have been anyone,” he said.

The department usually sees a few thousand people at the Night Out event, which was canceled last year because of COVID-19.

“Residents can come and talk to our officers. It’s a celebration with our community,” Nickischer said.

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Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com.