By Srijan Sen
5-year-old Laylah Peterson was sitting on her grandfather’s lap when two men opened fire on their home in Milwaukee at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday evening. A dozen bullets came through the wall, fatally wounding the little girl who died in the hospital.
Investigators found no clear motive for the shooting in the city’s northwest side, and don’t believe the family was specifically targeted. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives offered a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
Although the homicide rate in the city has been lower than last year’s, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn noted 11 children under the age of 13 have been shot in Milwaukee, compared to two last year.
“There is no reason conceivable that I can think of that would explain this wanton, violent act,” Flynn told reporters Thursday night.
Today, scores of people packed Our Lady of Good Hope Church in Milwaukee where the focus was to mourn the death of an innocent life and pay final respects. Family spokesman Richard Schwoegler said Laylah’s heart has been donated.
A community group called Coalition for Justice is seeking a meeting with Milwaukee’s mayor, District Attorney, Police Chief and the members of the City Council to address the issue of gun violence.
Chief Flynn said officers are getting tips and canvassing neighborhoods for witnesses. The police have yet to make any arrests in this case, but have requested help from the public in form of information that may help identify the suspects.