Los Angeles Sheriff’s detectives hope a $10,000 reward will help generate clues about who shot and killed a 14-year-old girl in South L.A. on Independence Day. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the reward this week.
Fourteen year-old Unique Russell had been watching fireworks pop in the street with her family and neighbors outside her house when someone opened fire on the crowd. The gunshots killed her and injured two other people.
As her family prepares to bury Russell this weekend in Inglewood, they continue to urge witnesses to come forward with any information that could help the police round up suspects. Wendall Walker, the teen’s stepmother, made an emotional plea at a recent news conference.
“She liked riding bicycles. She liked skateboarding. She liked Hello Kitty," said Wendall Walker, Russell's stepmother. "Didn’t deserve this in front of her family. And her life is gone. How many more of our children have to die?”
Detectives say they don’t have much to go on because it was "dark" on the night of the shooting, although witnesses described the suspects as two men, aged 18 to 25, who wore hoodies and fled the scene on foot.
Russell was one of three people killed in greater Los Angeles on July 4th. Many shootings take place during that holiday because noise from fireworks can muffle the sound of gunfire.
About 50 community members met on Monday in Inglewood for Russell's memorial march.