The Mayor of St. Louis has announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever is responsible for a string of shootings resulting in the deaths of multiple children, according to numerous reports.
Since April, a total of five children under the age of 10 have been shot and killed. The murders appear to be random incidents. Authorities have not been able to catch whoever is responsible, according to CNN.
The news outlet reported that conventional police means of apprehending the perpetrator weren’t working. Authorities are relying on the public for information that would result in the arrest of the criminal.
St. Louis Mayor, Lyda Krewson, said there is a $25,000 reward for each case, totaling $100,000 for four cases in total, WNEP reported. The reward offer will end on Sept. 1, according to CBS News. Authorities are frustrated because several other cities did not want to cooperate with the investigation, citing fear of retaliation from gangs and drug dealers in the area.
“We are all at risk when these suspects remain out on the street,” Krewson said, CNN reported.
“The message to the shooters is now there will be a significant incentive for anyone with information that could lead to your arrest,” Krewson said, according to WNEP.
The authorities offered the reward after an 8-year-old was killed on Aug. 23 after a football jamboree at Soldan High School, according to WNEP. The reward, they hope, is an incentive to help find the people responsible.
According to CNN, the previous victims date back to April 30, when the string of shootings began.
A 2-year-old Kayden Johnson got shot in his home along with his mother. Then, on June 9, a 3-year-old Kennedi Powell became a victim. She got shot while standing on the sidewalk in front of her house. On July 19, Eddie Hill, a 10-year-old boy became another victim. He got shot while standing on the porch of his home along with his family. The most recent killing was of eight-year-old Jurnee Thompson. She got shot and killed while at a restaurant located near a high school during a football event on the night of Aug. 23.
Police were in that area at the time on Aug. 23. They were clearing crowds resulting from a fight in nearby school grounds, according to John Hayden, the St. Louis Police Chief, CNN reported.
“The little girl wasn’t doing anything wrong. She was with family when this occurred. Shots rang out. Not sure what particular fight that was going on when shots rang out,” Hayden said.
At the time of the most recent shooting, there was a sports event happening at the Parkway North High School, and the visitors at the game heard the shots. That prompted coaches and organizers of the event to take measures to keep their visitors and players safe, according to WNEP.
Football coach, Brandon Gregory, advised his football players to leave the field and the area if they weren’t playing, reported WNEP.
“Unless they’re playing, you’re not going to any games just because there’s so much going on that anything can happen. Even though we’re not bad guys, bad things are happening,” Gregory said.
Darren Sunkett, the East. St. Louis High School Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, said they’re doing their best to make sure everyone was safe, according to WNEP.
“With what went on this past weekend we’re really going to tighten up our security, and it’s not just us. I’m sure everyone else in the area is as well,” Sunkett said, WNEP reported. “You just have to go the extra step to make sure your kids and fans are in a safe environment.”
These cases of children killings prompted the authorities to depend on public assistance to arrest the people responsible. So far, none of the people responsible are apprehended.