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Florida investigators more than quadrupled the reward for clues related to the death of three-year-old Elijah LaFrance, who was shot dead at his own birthday party in April.
“To the shooter – we will not stop,” said Alfredo Ramirez, Miami-Dade police director, during a press conference on Wednesday. “We come for you.”
Miami-Dade police said Elijah was killed and a 21-year-old woman injured on Saturday evening, April 24, when a car pulled up and unidentified shooters fired dozens of shots.
The family had held the party at an Airbnb short-term rental on 158 Street in Miami, and police said there were only close friends and relatives in attendance.
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Crime Stoppers Miami and the Florida Keys announced the increased reward of up to $ 67,500 on Wednesday. The initial reward amount of $ 5,000 has already been increased to $ 15,000.
Elijah’s mother, Terrissa Barron, witnessed the murder and crouched over her dying son after the shooting.
She said during the press conference that her son’s last word was “mom”.
“We can’t sleep at night,” she added. “We can’t eat. Our lives basically ended on April 24.”
She did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.
According to police, the unidentified shooters fired more than five dozen shots from multiple weapons.
Detective Kevin Thelwell said in a video posted on the department’s Facebook that the family had cleaned up after the party and Elijah was in the door when a car pulled up and bullets riddled the property.
“Unidentified people armed with various semi-automatic weapons, including rifles, arrived at the scene and started firing the guns at residents,” he said. “Ultimately, hit and kill Elijah LaFrance.”
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The toddler’s aunt tried CPR and called 911, he said, and the officers who responded took the boy to the hospital. But he succumbed to his injuries.
“That was despicable,” he said. “That was negligent. They were shooters, they were cowards who took the life of a 3-year-old child.”