RIVERSIDE (CBS) — A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the capture of the killer of a well-liked Poly High School freshman with no gang ties.
Lareanz Simmons, 14, was shot outside his home in Riverside’s eastside community and died Friday of his injuries. Police say Lareanz was not affiliated with any gang and gave back to the community through his work with the Junior ROTC program.
Both the county and city of Riverside contributed to the $50,000 reward.
“This is not a statistic – Lareanz was a son and grandson,” Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge said in a statement.
The house where he was shot was the one he shared with his grandmother, Bernice Hobdy, since he was 8 years old.
“I think my grandson was just in the wrong place,” Hobdy said. “He almost made it home. He didn’t have enemies, he thought everyone was his friend. There was times when I would say, ‘Lareanz, everybody is not your friend. You have to be careful.’
“And this happened. I wasn’t ready for it, prepared for it. And it hurts. It just hurts.”
Lareanz will be buried Tuesday.