Murder of Milwaukee girl gaining national attention
The story of a 5-year old Milwaukee girl's seemingly random murder has now gained national attention. Articles featuring the story of Laylah Petersen have appeared in People Magazine, The New York Daily News, and even an English-language Chinese news site called China Topix.
Laylah Petersen was sitting on her grandfather's lap inside her home near 58th and Fairmount last Thursday evening when one, or possibly two people, fired several rounds the home. Laylah was shot in the head and killed. Milwaukee Police have yet to identify a suspect or report any arrests.
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn called the shooting a \"horrific act,\" and pledged to make the investigation a department priority.
It's not clear why the shooting happened. Police say it appears the home was targeted but have not revealed much else. Authorities do say they believe there are two shooters. Flynn says investigators have been talking with several witnesses from different vantage points and have narrowed down why Petersen's house was chosen to \"a few theories.\"
In the days since the incident, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of those responsible. In addition to that, a community organization called Citizens for Urban Justice says they will match the ATF reward if anyone comes forward with information.
Much of the national attention for the story developed after it was revealed that Laylah's heart was given to a person in need of a transplant. The identity of the recipient is being kept secret.
This is the latest shooting to spark anti-violence activism in Milwaukee. On Sunday night, hundreds of supporters gathered for a vigil outside Laylah's home on Milwaukee's northwest side.
Laylah Petersen's funeral is planned for Wednesday, November 12th at Our Lady of Good Hope Church located at 7152 N. 41st Street in Milwaukee, and Krause Funeral Home located at 7001 W. Brown Deer Road in Milwaukee.
Investigators are asking anyone with information about the shooting of Laylah Petersen to contact the Milwaukee Police Department at (414) 935-7360 or ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS. Police stress that any calls will be kept confidential.