MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Exactly one month after her 10-year-old daughter was shot by a stray bullet, a mother is speaking out about new efforts to find the shooter.
Tequila, who asked WCCO only to use her first name, says her daughter was in bed when she was shot inside their home in the 1600 block of Plymouth Ave North. The bullet came through the house and hit the girl in her right foot.
CrimeStoppers is now offering a reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case. Tequila says her daughter suffered deeply from the experience.
“This is a scar that is never going to go away,” Tequila said.
On May 5, darkness tore through the place she is supposed to feel most protected.
“She doesn’t feel safe being in her own home, it’s like I’m forcing my baby to be somewhere she doesn’t want to be,” Tequila said.
Tequila says her only daughter, Jontay Asia, still struggles with a lot of fear.
The 10-year-old had just gotten into bed on the evening of May 5 when a stray bullet from outside broke through the walls of the home and went through her right foot.
“She won’t even go in the room, I mean, we have to get her clothes,” Tequila said. “She will not step a foot in that room.”
Jontay Asia’s foot is healing and she is back to spending time with other children.
But Tequila says her daughter is going to need help with the wounds no one can see.
“If her brothers come too close she’s ready to fight,” Tequila said. “I don’t want her feeling like she has to jump to defense with everybody because that’s not how it works.”
Tequila wants to hope that reward money will motivate someone to come forward with helpful information, since it seems her daughter’s suffering has not been enough.
“They don’t want to be called a snitch but the more you don’t say anything the more it’s going to keep happening,” Tequila said.
Tequila says investigators have worked tirelessly to track down leads in her daughter’s shooting, but have not had any big breaks.
“I am her mom so I have to go through this because my baby has to go through this,” Tequila said.
Tequila calls the shooter a coward and wishes they would come forward and take responsibility for what happened.
Tequila believes the shooting outside her home stemmed from a group of men who were playing a game of dice and gambling. She believes there was a dispute that led to gunfire.
The CrimeStoppers reward amount is a standard offer of up to $1,000.
Anyone with information can send an anonymous tip via text message to 274637. Type Tip674 and your tip. People may also call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) and leave an anonymous tip. The case number for this incident is 16-160009.