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Reward Increased for Information on Shooting of 3-Year-Old

AVONDALE, Ohio (Larry Davis) -- A tiny crime victim gets some vocal support from the community as she recovers from a gunshot wound.

Police hope a bigger reward will get people talking and lead them to a suspect.  They hope an increase in reward money will help lead them to those responsible for the shooting of that 3-year-old girl.  Crime Stoppers is now offering a 2,000 dollar reward for information about the shooting of Leah Johnson at an Avondale town home complex early Tuesday.

Cincinnati's police chief says the toddler is doing okay and remains in stable condition.  She was shot in the buttocks by a stray bullet; that bullet traveled through to her stomach. 

Wednesday, an angry Chief Jeffrey Blackwell called on the community to step up and help police find those responsible for the senseless shooting.

"I am angry today as the police chief that this type of violence is happening.  When it affects children it affects me personally."

Standing in the heart of Avondale and surrounded by neighborhood leaders, police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell called on the people who live there to speak up.  He says 3-year-old Leah Johnson needs the voice of the community to help lead police to those responsible for the shooting of the little girl.

"We're asking people of the community to be responsible.  To let go of the "no snitch" mentality and stand up for what's right."

Investigators believe the toddler was wounded by a stray bullet that came from a nearby gun battle at the Colonial Village town homes.  Six people were taken into custody but all were later released.  No charges have been filed.

Police and neighborhood leaders say while crime is down in Avondale, the shooting of a child has angered those who are trying to do good in the community.

Police say they are following up on a few leads and hope the increase in the Crime Stoppers reward money will produce many more.  They hope those who know something, speak up.

Chief Blackwell says when he first heard the news about the 3-year-old being shot he went from being sad to mad.  He says the shooting of a 3-year-old is unacceptable and people need to stand up for her and speak up. 

If you have any information that could help lead police to those responsible for the shooting call Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.




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