Police have released a surveillance image and increased the reward to $10,000 in the hopes of learning information leading to the killer of a 13-year-old boy shot dead while playing basketball.
Darius Brown was playing ball -- his lifelong passion -- in Metcalfe Park in the South Side neighborhood of Bronzeville when he was shot in the neck. Someone in a passing car fired shots at the park, and while it's unclear who the intended target was, police believe that Darius was not meant to be hit.
"He's a good kid," his sister told the Chicago Sun-Times. "All he does is play basketball." A poster of Derrick Rose, South Sider and Chicago Bulls star, hung on the wall of his room; his coach at Holy Angels School, where he would have entered eighth grade next year, said that "he would have been in the NBA."
So far, authorities have scant leads on Brown's killer. But in an effort to gain more information, they've released this image, taken from a nearby surveillance camera, of the vehicle that held the shooter:
And as FOX Chicago reports on Friday, community leaders have chipped in to increase the reward for information.
On Thursday, Father Michael Pfleger, the influential leader of black Catholic congregation at St. Sabina Church, offered $5,000 for information leading to Brown's shooter. By Friday morning, that figure had doubled, with Concerned Citizen giving $2,000, and Alderman Pat Dowell, Crime Stoppers and No Guns No Violence kicking in $1,000 each.
Authorities hope the reward will overcome the "code of silence" that they believe is protecting the shooter. NBC Chicago writes that police "believe someone must have seen something that day to help this investigation."
Father Pfleger told the Sun-Times that he hoped the money would "stop the community being afraid of the shooters and make the shooters afraid of the community."