Long Beach City Councilmembers voted unanimously Tuesday to begin negotiations with Los Angeles County to issue a reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspects involved in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Eric Gregory Brown III earlier this month.
Brown was shot just before midnight May 9 while walking with some friends when suspects in a car fired at them, killing Brown and leaving a 14-year-old girl injured. No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting, and now the city will now work with the county to issue a reward of at least $25,000 for information leading to one.
“I just want to make sure that we share that we are going to do everything that we can, and this is a step demonstrating that we want to bring justice for the family and hold those accountable for their actions,” said Councilmember Suely Saro, who represents the area where the shooting happened.
Councilmember Al Austin, one of the co-sponsors of the request, said that the streets of the city were not safe because there was a “cold-hearted killer” still on the loose who needs to be brought to justice.
“Any information that can help solve this crime will be appreciated, and hopefully after tonight, will be rewarded,” Austin said.
Councilmembers called on the community to helpLong Beach Police Department investigators identify the shooter or anyone else who was a party to the shooting. The council voted unanimously to start discussions with the county for the creation of a reward.
It could be a while before any reward is approved. The LA County Board of Supervisors, which approves funding for rewards like the one the council asked for Tuesday, is not scheduled to meet again until June 10.
After Brown’s death, neighborhood groups responded by organizing a solidarity event where adults in the community walked students home from Signal Hill Elementary and Nelson Academy, two schools near the Central Long Beach neighborhood where the shooting happened.
Others rallied outside City Hall, where Brown’s uncle, Lovell Brown, called for the city to issue a reward.
Members of Brown’s family showed up to Tuesday’s meeting to support the council’s vote to help issue a reward. Eric Brown Sr., the boy’s grandfather, told the council that his son, Eric Brown Jr., also had his life taken by gun violence in Los Angeles.
Brown Sr. said he supported whatever would help get the killer off the streets before he can kill again.
If a reward is issued by the county Board of Supervisors, there are a few steps someone hoping to claim it would have to follow. They’d have to provide information that leads to the apprehension and conviction of a person responsible for the crime and submit a claim to the board’s executive office.
The board can waive the conviction requirement in the event that the suspect cannot be convicted due to death or some other form of incapacitation, according to the county’s website.
The county’s website says that people with information that could lead to an arrest would have to submit those leads to law enforcement agencies within 90 days of the reward being issued, unless the timeline is extended by the board.