MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis city leaders announced Sunday a $30,000 reward fund for information that leads to arrests in three recent shootings that killed one child and left two others critically injured.
The fund was organized by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber. At a press conference announcing the reward, Mayor Jacob Frey, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, family members of the children and activists pleaded for someone from the community to step forward with information.
“I’m begging, again, please, if you know who these people are, contact me, this family or the Minneapolis police,” activist KG Wilson, whose granddaughter Aniya Allen died last week after being hit by gunfire in the backseat of a car, said. “Please, please, please, please, I’m begging you.”
“We will not protect killers of children, people who shoot children,” civil rights attorney and activist Nekima Levy Armstrong said. “It is time for a paradigm shift and for our community to feel safe
Allen’s was the latest of the three shootings, which all took place in north Minneapolis in a less than three week span.
Ten-year-old Ladavionne Garrett Jr. was in the back seat of his parents’ car on April 30 when he was shot in the head. On May 15, 9-year-old Trinity-Ottoson Smith was at a birthday party when she was also struck in the head by gunfire.
Six-year-old Allen was also shot in the head while riding in her family’s car Monday on the way home from McDonald’s, Wilson said. She later died of her injuries at an area hospital.
“These are children who are loved,” Wilson said. “This little girl loved everybody.”
The Minneapolis Regional Chamber said up to $10,000 will be offered for information that leads to an arrest in each shooting.
“We will not stop until we find, locate and apprehend those who are responsible,” Arradondo said. “I am committed to making sure that this does not become our normal.”
“Every parent should have the ability to send their kid outside to play without the risk of getting hit by gunfire,” Frey said. “Every one of these kids deserves justice and that’s the direction that we all collectively need to be moving right now.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stoppers anonymous tipline at 1-800-222-8477.