Police, family plead for help as reward reaches $67,500 in fatal shooting of toddler

(MIAMI) — It’s been over a month since 3-year-old Elijah LaFrance was gunned down at his own birthday party in Miami, and authorities are still searching for his killer.

The Miami-Dade and the Florida Keys Crime Stoppers announced Wednesday that the reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the toddler’s death has been increased to $67,500, one of the largest rewards in the organization’s history.

The Miami-Dade Police Department held a joint press conference with Elijah’s family on Wednesday, vowing for justice and pleading for the public’s help.

“To the shooter — we’re not going to stop,” said Freddie Ramirez, director of the Miami-Dade Police Department. “We’re coming for you.”

Elijah’s mother, Terrissa Barron, fought back tears as she recalled the last thing her son said to her before he died.

“His last words was ‘Mommy,’ and I couldn’t do nothing,” Barron said, her voice wavering with emotion. “We can’t sleep at night. We can’t eat. Our life basically stopped April 24.”

The fatal shooting happened on April 24 at around 8 p.m. ET, according to police. Gunshots rang out as the family was cleaning the front yard of a house in the Golden Glades neighborhood that they had rented for a birthday celebration for Elijah and his 2-year-old sister. Elijah was standing in the doorway of the home when he was shot. The unknown shooter or shooters fled the scene, police said.

It was unclear exactly how many suspects may have been involved, but police said investigators found dozens of shell casings from various semi-automatic weapons at the scene.

Elijah was rushed to a local hospital, where he died from his wounds just days before he would have turned 4. A 21-year-old woman who was attending the birthday party was also shot and was transported to the hospital in stable condition. She was treated for her injuries and later released, according to police.

“I lost something that I can never get back,” Elijah’s mother said at the press conference Wednesday. “Just please, please, if you know something, please say something.”

Anyone with information is urged to call the Miami-Dade Police Department detectives at 305-471-2400 or, if they wish to remain anonymous, the Miami-Dade and the Florida Keys Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

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