Grieving Mother Seeks Justice for Slain Son as Accused Killer Remains at Large

Shelby, North Carolina – Phyllis Ruff recalls the day her son was born, naming him Timothy after the nurse who helped her during 24 hours of labor. Now, she is grappling with the loss of her firstborn and seeking answers to his tragic death. Timothy Lamont Ruff, 50, died on March 29 after being fatally shot by Jonathan Martzes Petty, 41, outside an apartment building in Shelby. The altercation between the two escalated when Petty pulled out a gun, leading to Ruff’s untimely death.

Described as a gentle giant who had recently reunited with his family after a 20-year prison sentence, Timothy Ruff was known for his love of fishing and his nurturing relationship with his nieces and nephews. His mother, Phyllis, reminisces about the last moments she shared with her son, unaware that it would be their final encounter. The devastating news of his passing left her yearning to see him one last time, but she was denied the opportunity.

Phyllis Ruff now lives with the painful memories of her son’s untimely death, praying for justice to prevail as she seeks closure. She pleads for Petty to surrender and face the consequences of his actions, questioning the senseless act that robbed her of the chance to speak with her son again. The community is urged to assist authorities in locating Petty, who faces charges of murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Despite the heartbreak and unanswered questions, Phyllis cherishes the memories of her son, including their shared love for the song “Dear Mama” by Tupac. With a heavy heart, she reflects on Timothy’s impact on those around him and the void left in her life with his absence. As she navigates through grief, she clings to the hope that justice will be served and her son’s memory will endure as a testament to the love he shared with those around him.