Thursday , June 20 2024

$5,000 Reward Offered in Death of 9-Year-Old Struck by Stray Bullet

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<p>Fresno police are asking for the public’s help in finding those responsible for killing a 9-year-old girl when she was struck by a stray bullet Sunday&nbsp;night outside a laundromat at Clinton and Marks.</p><p>The victim, Janessa Ramirez, was shot once in the stomach and died within&nbsp;an hour.</p><p>Police are reviewing surveillance video of&nbsp;at least 20 cameras from the surrounding businesses.</p><p>Monday night, Janessa’s family and friends gathered at the family’s church to pray and comfort each other.</p><p>&quot;Imagine if this was your child, your niece, your great niece, or even your grandchild–the suffering that was caused by someone that just didn’t seem like they cared,&quot; said George Gonzales, Janessa’s great uncle.</p><p>Sunday at 8:40 p.m., police believe there was an exchange of gunfire about 300 yards north west of where Janessa and her mother stood.</p><p>&quot;I am so fed up, and I know so many other people are fed up with the gang violence in our city, because today, we have an innocent child that was struck by an errant round,&quot; said Police Chief Jerry Dyer during a news conference.</p><p>The family said their faith is helping them stay strong.</p><p>Janessa attended church all of her life, said family pastor Douglas Knox, Jr.</p><p>&quot;She just loved coming to church, loved singing in the choir, loved learning all she could about the Lord,&quot; Knox said.</p><p>Family and friends described Janessa, a fourth grader at Steinbeck Elementary, as a sweet and polite little girl who was always smiling and loved to give hugs.</p><p>Nancy Alejandrez took care of Janessa in daycare and said her heart breaks over the senseless violence. </p><p>&quot;This little girl, she was just so good. She was a good little girl,&quot; Alejandrez said through tears.</p><p>Through prayer and with each other, family and friends said they’ll find strength.</p><p>They have a message&nbsp;for those responsible: &quot;I&nbsp;wish they could have the courage to turn themselves in, because this was senseless, she was innocent,&quot; Alejandrez&nbsp;said.</p><p>Police said two vehicles were seen leaving the scene on Sunday. A black car followed by a white car traveled southbound on Marks, then westbound onto Clinton.</p><p>Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. Anyone with information should call Fresno Police of Crime Stoppers at 498-STOP to remain anonymous. </p></div>

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