LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The reward for information leading to the conviction of the killer of a 7-year-old boy in the Mid-City area was increased Wednesday from $50,000 to $75,000.
Taalib Pecantte was fatally wounded in a car-to-car shooting in the 1900 block of South Corning Street in the Mid-City area on Dec. 2. Because his mother, Sawan Mock, was also shot in the attack, the crime qualifies for the $75,000 reward, which was unanimously approved by the Los Angeles City Council Wednesday.
Mock, 28, was grazed in the right leg in the shooting, LAPD Detective Rolando Rodriguez said.
Police say Taalib was sitting in a parked car with his mother and her male friend when a white car pulled up and someone opened fire, sending a bullet into the child’s back. The second-grader, who played football for the Compton Vikings, was declared dead at a hospital a day later.
Rodriguez said he hopes the larger reward will increase the chances the shooter will be brought to justice.
“We’ve gotten some calls,” said Rodriguez. “We’re just looking for anything and everything. Any clue, any rumor … let us determine if it is a good clue or not and we’ll go from there.”
A third victim, Royce Jobe, who is in his early 30s, was shot in the back, Rodriguez said. Jobe is believed to be a gang member in the area where the shooting occurred, which might have made him a target, he said.
“We believe they came looking for a gangster,” Rodriguez said. “They weren’t specifically gunning for him.”
City Councilman Herb Wesson called Tuesday for the bigger reward.
“It ain’t OK to kill a 7-year-old boy,” Wesson said. “And whoever you are, we’re going to do everything in our power to find you (and) convict you.”
The boy’s father, Abu Hussein, pleaded for witnesses to come forward and identify the killers.
“These individuals … murdered my son,” Hussein said. “I want justice to prevail, and these individuals to be captured.”
After the killing last week, Hussein had described his son to reporters.
“He’s only 7 years old,” Hussein said. “I mean, he’s an honor student, well-behaved. You couldn’t ask for anything more out of a child, a well-behaved child. Any mother and father would love to have this child in their household.”
Anyone with more information about the shooting can call the LAPD’s 24-hour toll-free number, (877) LAPD-24-7. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.
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