“Somebody knows something:” Five days later, still no leads in shooting of Laylah Petersen

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It has been five days since five-year-old Laylah Petersen was gunned down while seated on her grandfather's lap in a home near 58th and Fairmount -- and police still don't have anyone in custody. Milwaukee Alderman Willie Wade is taking action -- knocking on doors in the hopes of getting information that could help police in this case. This, as a family spokesman urges anyone with information to come forward.

Alderman Wade serves District 7, which includes the area of 58th and Fairmount, where the shooting occurred last Thursday evening, November 6th. Wade says he's acting as a liaison, hoping someone who many not wish to talk with police might instead talk with him -- and come forward with a tip.

"I can't remember anyone this young getting killed in my district like this. To have someone that young with such a promising future ahead of them get it cut short is tragic. I want to be as helpful as I can," Alderman Wade said.

Laylah Petersen

Laylah Petersen

Alderman Wade is asking anyone who may have information that could help police apprehend the person(s) who shot and killed Laylah Petersen to contact him. He says at a time when tipsters may be reluctant to contact police, it's critical they speak up.

"A lot of crime that gets solved in the city gets solved through community and police relationships. Probably at least 50% of (homicides) where the critical information came from a tip from a citizen and that's what gave police the information they needed to conduct the case," Alderman Wade said.

Recently, a tip led police to the suspects involved in the shooting death of 10-year-old Sierra Guyton, and one of two taken into custody in that case was eventually convicted of the crime.

"When you have an innocent life that`s taken, the person that has done this needs no protection -- or stop snitching protection. What he needs to do is face trial for murder of an innocent life," community activist Tory Lowe said.

Lowe says his group of community activists is serving as a resource for police in the shooting death of Laylah Petersen.

"Definitely trying to be in that gap -- where we can create some type of communication," Lowe said.

Lowe has partnered with "Citizens for Urban Justice." The group of business owners has put forth a $5,000 reward in the Laylah Petersen case. That is in addition to a $5,000 reward being offered by the ATF. It is hoped that the money will fuel someone to come forward with information that will lead police to a suspect.

"Somebody knows something somewhere, and it's our hope and our prayer that somebody finds the courage to step up and try to give the information to get to the bottom of this," Alderman Wade said.

Alderman Wade says he plans on sending out letters to those who live in the neighborhood where this shooting happened that will include contact information for those who may be able to help police in this case.

Meanwhile, the spokesman for Laylah Petersen's family held a news conference on Tuesday evening, November 11th. During that news conference, he repeated the call for anyone who may have information in this case to please come forward.

"Somebody knows something and needs to come forth with that information," family spokesman Richard Schwoegler said.

For Laylah Petersen's family, it has been five days without their little girl, and five days without any significant leads on her killer.

"(Laylah's parents are) doing as good as being expected. They lost their five-year-old daughter. They're making it through, and it's through the continued prayers of everyone and that continued support and that outpouring of love," Schwoegler said.

As her family members took part in a private visitation on Tuesday, Schwoegler pleaded with the public.

"Whether it`s thinking about the $10,000 reward or this little baby that was killed, they need to come forth. Somebody knows something," Schwoegler said.

Laylah Petersen will be laid to rest on Wednesday, November 12th.

Laylah and Destiny Petersen

Laylah and Destiny Petersen

Laylah Petersen’s funeral will be held at Our Lady of Good Hope Church located at 7152 N. 41st Street in Milwaukee. A visitation is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. -- and a mass will be held from 11:00 a.m. to noon.

Following mass, there will be a procession to Holy Cross Catholic Cemeteries on W. Nash Street, where Laylah Petersen will be buried.

Our Lady of Good Hope Church is also accepting gifts of support -- such as stuffed animals, cards, candles, etc. All stuffed animals will be donated to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

A fundraiser will be held for Laylah Petersen on Saturday, November 29th, from 2:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at the Schwabenhof in Menomonee Falls.

An account has been established in Laylah Petersen's honor at GiveForward.com. CLICK HERE to make a donation.

IMPORTANT: Anyone with information in this case should contact the Milwaukee Police Department at (414)935-7360, or ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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4 comments

  • Debbie Lou

    to the person/persons that commited this horrendous act—I hope the guilt of this crime racks your brains (if you have any)I hope that you are not able to sleep at night because of this..I hope that you are scared out of your wits, because YOU WILL BE FOUND, its only a matter of time..and you will be the sorriest animal on earth…you are an animal, lowest of the low, a coward, you are a heartless coward…..

    • Tricia

      Right that’s why I left Milwaukee cause the crime is just so sad to see a parent to have to coat with a tragedy in losing a pretty Lil angel that didn’t deserve to die.i wish they find that stupid person or persons that took someone’s angel off earth Laylah was only 5 she still had years to come to see the world……My heart is still broken to see her parents go threw this…I don’t wish this tragedy on nobody specially a Lil kid at that.TRUST and BELIEVE their gonna be caught they thinking things sweet right now..God don’t like ugly Karma is a b***ch if the police don’t catch them somebody on streets gonna catch them it’s not gonna be nice cause what they did was wrong….Milwaukee need to STOP the VIOLENCE!!!!!!!😔😔🙏🔫🔫🔫🔫🔫…..

  • G Man

    Of course someone knows something. How bout the people that lived at the house that was SHOT 12 TIMES? I sure they owe someone money or pist off the wrong group of individuals. While it’s unfortunate what happened, they are sure to know who would maybe shoot at their house 12 times

  • mh

    Yeah im thinking SOMEBODY in that house owed or stole from the wrong person. Even Milwaukee’s worst dont just shoot up random houses for no reason. & Somebody is helping these people hide. I hope everyone involved gets charged ESPECIALLY the ones helping to hide these people..

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