WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) – In a matter of days, one murder, an attempted murder and a suspect who authorities say took his own life created a crime scene at a house the Ratliff family called home for over 20 years.
Authorities say 40-year-old Ronald David Ratliff shot himself in the neck after he fired a shot from the attic and wounded his estranged wife Tuesday. On Wednesday, neighbors and family members provided insight into Ratliff's background.
A neighbor described Ratliff as a caring, but complex person whom she says struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. Ratliffed lived at the 1834 Debbenshire home prior to serving time in prison on assault charges.
"His demons worsened and his complex personality got worse," said neighbor Linda Weaver. "Things just got worse with his problems."
Family members say Ratliff worked as a carpenter for many years, something they say he excelled in.
Gary Worth, Ratliff's former boss, says he never saw a dark side to the man who worked for him for over a year.
"He was at work every day and seemed like your regular guy," Worth said. "He always talked about his love for the Dallas Cowboys and his love for his family and wife."
Ratliff had a history of run-ins with police. His criminal history is four pages long. From 1991 to 2010 he was charged with three counts of assault, four counts of drug possession, multiple counts of driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.
To those who knew him, Ratliff once seemed like a caring husband and father.