$35,000 in rewards offered in Milwaukee girl's shooting

AP News
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Posted: May 17, 2016 8:15 PM

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The FBI and an attorney offered rewards totaling $35,000 Tuesday for information in the shooting of a 9-year-old Milwaukee girl who was struck by a bullet fired from outside her home earlier this month.

Za'layia Jenkins was pronounced brain-dead on Monday, just one day before her 10th birthday, Milwaukee police said in a statement. A cousin, John Jones, said Tuesday that the girl was still on life support.

The FBI offered $10,000 toward the reward, while Milwaukee attorney Michael Hupy kicked in $25,000 for information leading to the shooter or shooters.

"Today is Zalayia's 10th birthday," Mayor Tom Barrett said at a news conference where the rewards were announced. "Tenth birthdays should be celebrated by a little girl with her friends, with her family. Instead we are standing here. We're standing here because senseless violence has once again disrupted this community in a way that any parent could never ever, ever accept."

Za'layia , known to her family as Lay Lay, was shot May 5 as she watched TV while two groups with rifles and pistols engaged in a shootout outside, police say.

Capt. Aaron Raap said investigators don't know whether the shooting was random and haven't ruled out that the home was targeted.

Family members participated in a march Tuesday afternoon to protest the violence.

"Turn yourself in," said one of Za'layia's aunts, Keyana Boone. "How do you sleep at night? You took an innocent life. A 9-year-old. She didn't do nothing to nobody. I don't understand how they sleep at night."

Police still are searching for a green Jeep Cherokee whose driver may have information about the shooting.

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This story has been updated to clarify that that Za'layia Jenkins was declared brain-dead and her family says she is still on life support.