MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The mother of a 3-year-old toddler shot and killed after his birthday party pleaded for help during a Wednesday afternoon press conference outside of the Miami-Dade police headquarters. Also announced was one of the largest rewards in Miami-Dade Crime Stopper history, $67,500 for information leading to the person responsible for the boy’s death.
“April 24 I lost my baby. I lost something that I can never get back,” Terrissa Barron said trying to hold back tears.
(Watch the press conference below)
Three-year-old Elijah La France was shot and later died after gunfire erupted outside of a home in Miami-Dade’s Golden Glades neighborhood, police said. The birthday party was for the boy.
Police said just after 8 p.m. on April 24 as family members were cleaning the front yard of the home they had rented for the party, the toddler was standing in the door frame when shooters armed with semi-automatic weapons opened fire.
“His last words was ‘Mommy’ and I couldn’t do nothing,” said Barron. Police said more than 60 shell casings were found at the scene. A 21-year-old woman was wounded and rushed to the hospital.
On Wednesday, one month after his murder, Crime Stoppers announced a reward of up to $67,500 for information leading to the person or persons responsible for the killing.
“It could be something. It could be anything, just please come forward. My family can’t sleep at night. We can’t eat. Our lives basically stopped on April 24,” the boy’s mother said, who added that he died just four days before his fourth birthday.
The officers swiftly placed the 3-year-old in a police vehicle and transported him to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Freddie Ramirez, Miami-Dade Police Director, had a message for the person or people responsible.
“To the shooter, we are coming for you,” Ramirez said.
The reward was made possible with the assistance of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers, Miami-Dade Police Director Ramirez, Florida Sheriffs Association, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, and an anonymous donor.
The break down of the reward contributions include:
- Anonymous Donor, $15,000
- Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers, $5,000
- Miami-Dade Police Department, $5,000
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, $10,000
Miami-Dade County Commissioners contributions:
- Commissioner Jean Monestime - District 2, $10,000
- Commission Chair Pepe Diaz - District 12 , $5,000
The following five commissioners contributed $2,500 each for a total of $12,500
- Commissioner Oliver Gilbert, III - District 1
- Commissioner Keon Hardemon - District 3
- Commissioner Eileen Higgins - District 5
- Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins - District 8
- Commissioner Kionne McGhee - District 9
The reward amount will remain at that level for a period of one year from the reward announcement, according to Crime Stoppers.
Detectives are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers to (305) 471-8477.