MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee police continue to search for the person or persons responsible for the shooting that led to the death of 13-month-old Bill Thao. Thao lost his life after shots were fired into a home near 73rd and Mill on Saturday night, December 27th. Police say they're looking at "every possibility," and that includes investigating whether gangs may be responsible for what happened.
Police say they have some strong leads as the investigation into this crime continues. This, as the community works to help Bill Thao's family in any way they can. Donations continue to come into the Go Fund Me page established in the baby boy's honor, and a memorial outside the home near 73rd and Mill is growing.
Police are calling for the same kind of community support as they work to find Bill Thao's killer(s).
"We can`t tolerate the violence, and being quiet about it doesn`t help anyone," Milwaukee Police Lt. Derrick Harris said.
The Milwaukee Police Department is doing everything it can to find those responsible for what happened to Bill Thao, and that includes looking at every possibility and using every possible resource, including a relatively new program called the "Group Violence Reduction Initiative."
"Traditionally in the past, if a person committed the crime, we would target the individual. With this strategy we target not only the individual but the group," Lt. Harris said.
Police say there is a large number of crimes being committed by a small group of individuals -- groups like gangs, cliques and street crews.
"We want to give people that are in the group a way to get out, and that's what this strategy is going to allow," Lt. Harris said.
The Group Violence Reduction Initiative puts several resources together and makes them accessible to those involved in these groups.
"We are not here to arrest you. We`re really here for you and really want you to get help," Milwaukee Police Officer Monique Anderson said.
So far, statistics nationally and locally show programs like the Group Violence Reduction Initiative work -- but as little Bill Thao's death shows, there's still work to be done.
"When you are sitting in jail -- because we are going to come get you, and you are going to be arrested and prosecuted because the city of Milwaukee is sick of it. You are going to be thinking to yourself, 'what could I have done different?' And this is what we can do different. Use these resources," Anderson said.
Police say they don't know at this point whether Bill Thao's death was gang-related, or if the home near 73rd and Mill was targeted, but again -- they stress they're looking into every possibility.
Bill Thao was the youngest of two children. No one has been arrested in connection with the shooting that took his life.
Police are asking for the public’s assistance in finding the person or persons responsible for the shooting that killed Bill Thao. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (414) 935-7360.
CLICK HERE to access a Go Fund Me page established by Bill Thao’s family.
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