Reporting Holly Wagner
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police need help to find the person who fired a shot in Minneapolis that killed a 3-year-old boy. And they’re offering a big reward for information.
A stray bullet tore through Marsha Mayes’ home Monday, killing her 3-year-old son Terrell.
“Here it is, the devil creeped inside and took my son’s life,” she said. “That’s not right.”
Terrell was shot in the head as he walked up the stairs of their home, along Colfax Avenue North. Hospital officials said he passed away around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Police believe the bullet came from outside the home, but so far no one has been arrested. They said there’s no evidence the people inside the home were being targeted.
Crimestoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
Gun violence is something that Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman is taking very seriously.
Wednesday morning he talked to reporters about their efforts to step up prosecutions.
Freeman said he’s very disturbed by this incident and while they’ve done a lot to crack down on gun violence, he said as this case shows, they need to do more.
In the summer of 2010, the county attorney’s office launched an effort to target felons with guns.
From July of 2010 to July of 2011, charges for gun-related crimes rose 14 percent from 251 cases being prosecuted to 286 cases. Convictions on those gun crimes rose from 212 to 256.
Freeman said part of the reason for those increases is because of a partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Felons who commit crimes with guns have been prosecuted as tough as possible — pushing for maximum sentences.
Freeman said they’ll do the same when police catch the person who shot and killed Terrell.
“Kid with his plate of spaghetti, going upstairs because they’re used to going up? It’s like going into a bomb shelter. It’s like the Diary of Anne Frank all over again, this is awful,” he said. “We try to treat every case the same but I’m sorry, we don’t. We can’t. Everyone of us is just sickened by what happened to this young man.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Hennepin County Attorney prosecutors have been meeting every other week to see what cases can be prosecuted for longer sentences. They are also working with police to aggressively target people who were involved in violent crimes.
They say the people who are committing these types of crimes are on average between the ages of 16 to 26.