Business Owners, Fed Up With Shooting Deaths Of Children, Offer Cash Rewards For Info

Nancy Harty
June 28, 2020 - 3:06 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- As Chicago police investigate Saturday’s fatal shooting of a 1-year-old boy, some business owners are coming together to offer a reward in the case. 

Early Walker, a local philanthropist and business owner, said he and other business owners are fed up with all the killings of young people – like the baby shot while riding in his mom’s car Saturday in Englewood.  So they’ve formed a group called “I’m Telling, Don’t Shoot” and are offering $25,000 for information leading to charges against the killer.

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“Something has to be done. We are tired, fed up as it relates to gun violence. Innocent bystanders are being killed. our kids are dying at a fast rate and it’s time for some type of a change,” Walker said during a press conference held Sunday at 11 a.m. in Englewood. 

The 1-year-old, Sincere Gaston, was in the car with his mother as they drove home from a laundromat just after 2 p.m. Saturday when a gunman pulled up alongside them in another vehicle and opened fire near 60th and Halsted streets, according to Chicago police.

The child was struck once in the chest, while his mother, 22, was grazed on the head, police said. She drove them to St. Bernard Hospital, where he died.

“Call the tip hotline. I will personally bring you this money in your hand,. If you need help with your rent to tell, listen, we’ll pay that,” business owner Christopher Scott pleaded as he held up a wad of cash.

They’re also adding $25,000 to the existing $13,000 reward in the fatal shooting of 3-year-old Mekhi James last weekend.  

Walker said if no one claims the reward in the Sincere Gaston case and the killer surrenders to police, the money can help pay their legal fees.

"We just want these killers off the street.  We don't believe that the kids were the intended targets," Walker said. 

Ald. Stephanie Coleman,16th Ward, said she and the business owners refuse to let crime takeover.

“Crime has no business doing in the 16th Ward. It has no business in the city of Chicago so we are asking and pleading to please call the hotline if you know anything,” Coleman said.

The group of business owners has pledged to pay for Sincere Gaston’s funeral.