HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A 12-year-old Hempstead girl who was struck by a stray bullet while sitting inside her own living room has died, police said.
Dejah Joyner, who also goes by “Daisy,” was shot around 5 p.m. Friday, police said. She was pronounced dead at 7 p.m. Saturday at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, authorities said.
Investigators believe someone on the street in front of the two-story home on Dartmouth Street opened fire and missed the intended target, possibly in a gang-related dispute.
A single bullet went through a plate-glass window and struck the girl in the head.
No arrest has been made. Crime Stoppers is putting up $50,000 in reward money and an additional $25,000 is being offered by Hempstead officials as cops search for the gunman.
Nassau County police are asking anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS.
“Dejah Joyner’s life was violently cut short before she even had a chance to live it,” Nassau County Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement Sunday. “This is a heartbreaking tragedy and we will do everything in our power to make sure that the gunman is brought to justice.”
A vigil was held Sunday to remember Dejah.
“She … was just doing what a 12-year-old would like to do,” a neighbor told 1010 WINS’ Darius Radzius. “She went to school. She went to church. She was in the scouts. She was just a sweetheart.”
“It’s hard. As a mother, I don’t know how I could stand that. It was just too much,” said a woman who attended the rally.
Meanwhile, Hempstead Mayor Wayne Hall said he’s tired of only seeing outrage when a minority is shot by police.
“When (it’s) a black-on-black, brown-on-brown (shooting), there’s no outcry in the community, and this is what we’re trying to bring out,” Hall told WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron.
Fear of getting caught cooperating with investigators remains a powerful silencer.
“People know, but no one is really going to say much,” Michael Rashad, of Hempstead, said. “It’s really rare that things get solved here.”
The mayor of Hempstead said the village will hold an ‘evening of outrage’ Tuesday in honor of the Joyner, CBS2’s Steve Langford reported.
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)