January 31, 2013
On Tuesday at its meeting, the Board of Supervisors authorized a second $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the outstanding suspect responsible for the July 4, 2012 shooting that took the life of 14-year-old Unique Russell and injured 12-year-old Rekell Reeves and 25-year-old Freddy Pickett.
The shooting occurred in front of a home on the 1300 block of West 97th Street located in the unincorporated area of West Athens. Unique, Rekell, and Pickett were watching fireworks with friends and neighbors when witnesses saw two suspects open fire into the crowd.
Unique was transported to Harbor–UCLA Medical Center where she died from her injuries. Rekell and Pickett suffered non- life threatening gunshot wounds to their legs and were subsequently released.
On the heels of the shooting, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas authorized a $10,000 reward motion that was unanimously approved by the Board in October. Last month, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s arrested Michael Staton, a 19-year- old Compton resident and alleged gang member, in connection with the shooting of Unique.
According to Los Angeles County homicide detectives, Ridley-Thomas’ $10,000 reward motion was instrumental in obtaining information from the public.
In an effort to arrest the second suspect, Ridley-Thomas authored a motion to increase the current reward by an additional $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the outstanding suspect. As a result of the Board’s approval, the reward now stands at $10,000 for the conviction of each suspect for a total reward amount of $20,000.
“Thanks to members of the community who spoke up, one suspect is behind bars and off the streets,” said Ridley-Thomas. “We are calling on the community to once again come forward to help bring justice to the friends and family members who have lost their loved one in this senseless crime.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Sergeant Perry or Detective Sloan of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau (323) 890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.