Monday, December 8, 1997
Friends, acquaintances mourn

BY ALLEN HOWARD
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Two chili cheese coneys, light on the chili and light on the onions, were standard orders for Ronald Jeter and Daniel Pope at Clifton's Skyline Chili parlor at the corner of Ludlow and Clifton avenues.

Cincinnati Police Officer Pope, 35, and Specialist Jeter, 34, often stopped at the restaurant while working as a team on the night shift.

A day after they were shot to death, people across the city were struck that their deaths could hurt so much.

Some mourners were fellow officers and former classmates. Some left flowers or just bowed their heads in front of a police memorial downtown.

''Everyone is hurting right now,'' said Officer Phil Penn, Spc. Jeter's former partner.

Even strangers and casual acquaintances were feeling pain.

The officers stopped in three or four times a week at Skyline, manager Jason Riley said, usually at dinnertime and again around 2 a.m.

Waitress Danielle Strecker last served them a week ago.

''I remember the first time I served them, I messed up their orders, and Jeter chided me,'' she said. ''He gave me a rough time, but he was just kidding me. They were real nice guys.''

Ms. Strecker, a University of Cincinnati freshman, was waiting in a coffee shop on Clifton Avenue to go on a date Saturday night when she heard the two officers had been killed.

''When I heard it was Pope and Jeter, I was through. I was out of it for a while,'' she said. ''You hear of this happening a lot, but you never think it will happen to someone you know and see practically every day.''

Betty Georgiton, another waitress at the chili parlor, finds it hard to hold back her anger.

''They were two super-nice guys who didn't deserve this.''

She was serving another officer when the call about the shooting came in. The officer had to leave.

''We heard about 5 a.m. Saturday that the officers killed were Pope and Jeter,'' she said. ''I don't mind saying that there should be public execution of anyone who does something like this.''

Tanya Bricking contributed to this report.

Today's report

Argument preceded shooting
Tragedy puts face on job Cliff Radel column
Families lean on faith, memories
Funeral services
Grief stays, say families who know
Police deaths declining

Sunday's report

Community mourns fallen officers
Suspect's family: He was 'respectful'
Sequence of events
Officers highly regarded
Officers deal with sorrow, job's risks
Chief's message: 'Take care of each other'
Hollister St. residents shocked