$180K reward offered for information on shootings involving 3 children in Minneapolis

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has announced a reward of $180,000 in return for information on shootings that involved three children in Minneapolis this summer. Two of the children died, while one is still recovering from his injuries

Spotlight on Crime and Crime Stoppers of Minnesota are supplying the reward money, according to a release. This is the largest Spotlight on Crime reward ever offered in the state.

Six-year-old Aniya Allen and 9-year-old Trinity Ottoson-Smith were both shot in May and died from their gunshot wounds. Ten-year-old Ladavionne Garrett Jr. was shot in April and is still recovering as of Monday. Ladavionne’s mother said during a news conference her son’s recovery hit 100 days on Monday.

No arrests have been made in any of the children’s cases. Officials said they have leads, but they are needing more information from the public in order to make arrests.

"Where is the safety for our children? This is getting ridiculous in north Minneapolis… there is a shooting every day," Sharrie Jennings, Ladavionne’s grandmother, said.

Jennings and K.G. Wilson, Aniya’s grandfather, pleaded for people who have information on the shootings to come forward.

“When is somebody going to say something? We deserve answers. We deserve to know! These were kids shot in the head!” Jennings said.

“Nobody’s arrested. Your child could be next," Wilson added. "That is why not only do we want closure for us and our families, we don’t want your child to be next. So you need to think about that while you’re holding that secret."

On Monday, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, Department of Public Safety Assistant Commissioner Booker Hodges, BCA Superintendent Drew Evans, Chairman of CrimeStoppers of Minnesota Robert Dennistoun, President of Clear Channel Outdoor in Minneapolis and St. Paul Dan Ballard, and family of Ladavionne Garrett Jr., Trinity Ottoson-Smith and Aniya Allen were present at a press conference to address this new initiative.

Monday’s announcement also detailed a billboard campaign that launches this week featuring rewards.

According to the BCA, each of these cases were the result of gun violence allegedly among rival gangs and the three children were unintended targets. The police department and BCA are hoping the financial reward being offered will motivate someone with information on the shootings to come forward.

"I believe offering a higher reward will help bring justice to the family,” said Raeisha Williams, who runs Guns Down Love Up, a community outreach group aiming to prevent violence.

Williams said a reward helped solve the murder of her brother, Tyrone Williams, in 2018. She said a few weeks after the announcement of the reward, an anonymous tip came in that led to an arrest and conviction in his case.

Arradondo reiterated that everyone can reach out anonymously, if they choose to. To submit any tips or information regarding any of these children’s cases, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or submit a tip online. In addition, individuals can contact the BCA at 1-877-996-6222 or submit a tip online.