Prosecutor announces $25,000 reward in murder of 5-month-old girl

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Aavielle Wakefield (Photo Credit: Family)

Aavielle Wakefield (Photo Credit: Family)

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office identified the baby killed in Thursday's shooting as 5-month-old Aavielle Wakefield while Cleveland police urge witnesses to come forward.

Police Chief Calvin Williams couldn't contain his emotions Thursday night as he talked about the latest violence to claim a young life.

"There are people who know what happened tonight," said Williams. "Things are all over Facebook. All over social media. Probably even before this happened. And there have been a lot of people lately in a lot of these incidents, brave people who have come forward and given us information and allowed us to close some of these cases fast. My guys have been instructed to stay on this as long as it takes."

Williams echoed those thoughts during Friday's news conference.  He urged people to do the right thing and share information with police.

“We’ve lost three young, innocent lives… It’s hard to stomach that because it’s not for any reason.”

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Police said Aavielle was in a car seat of a vehicle driving along East 143rd Street near Spear Avenue. The mom, baby, grandmother and an 8-year-old were taking a trip to the grocery store at the time. Four to six shots were fired into the car. The baby was hit in the chest.

No one else in the vehicle was shot. Williams said the bullet wasn't likely meant for anyone in that car.

After the shooting, a SWAT team surrounded the apartment building going room by room. They found bullet shells, but no shooter.

A man who said he’s the best friend of Aavielle’s mother set up a GoFundMe.com page for the family.

The baby is the fourth child shot in the city in the past month. Three of those children have died, and the oldest of the victims was 10.

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