ATLANTIC CITY – “It’s sad, it’s sad, she never bothered nobody, she was always a nice person.”
Residents of McKinley Avenue are reacting to the shock of a murder and the loss of a friendly face after authorities say 64-year-old Gwendolyn Pratt was murdered by her 46-year-old son, Steven Pratt.
“It’s just sad, she was a nice person, very quiet, respectful person. A nice lady,” said neighbor Gilbert Boasmond.
“She was a nice person you know, she used to walk past me every morning, catch the bus right here on the corner, I say hello, and she says hello,” said neighbor Bob Threadgill.
Making the murder even more shocking, authorities say Steven Pratt had just completed a 30–year prison sentence for a 1984 murder on Friday. Just two days later, Pratt was once again in custody, and once again facing a murder charge.
“I think he was looking for a place to live, I don’t know what happened. His mother was a beautiful lady,” said Threadgill. “30 years in prison, he comes out, he’s 45 and kills his mother. What can you say about that? Strange.”
Residents say they are aware of crimes taking place in other parts of the city, but they say this quiet neighborhood is not used to seeing this type of violence.
“This is a quiet neighborhood normally, what do I think about it? It’s a shame, you know, what can you say,” said Threadgill.
Authorities say an autopsy determined the cause of death to be massive blunt head injuries. Pratt is being held on one million dollars bail.