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Police: Person of interest in shooting of Za’layia Jenkins released from custody; no charges filed

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MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee police tell FOX6 News a person of interest taken into custody in connection with the shooting of nine-year-old Za’layia Jenkins has been released from custody.

No criminal charges have been filed against anyone in this case.

The arrest was announced on May 26th — the same day as Jenkins’ funeral. FOX6 News spoke with a witness who recorded an arrest that happened near 77th and Congress. That witness said police told him the arrest was made in connection with this case.

Za'layia Jenkins

Jenkins was shot while inside a home near 15th and Meinecke in Milwaukee on May 5th.

Nine-year-old Za'layia Jenkins shot near 15th and Meinecke

Nine-year-old Za’layia Jenkins shot near 15th and Meinecke

Jenkins was listed in critical condition after the shooting, and “legally pronounced dead/brain dead” at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 16th, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office — one day shy of her 10th birthday.

Police say this shooting happened as two groups got into a shootout in the area.

Loved ones gathered at the Holy Redeemer Church of God in Christ near 34th and Hampton on May 26th to celebrate Jenkins’ life.

Za'layia Jenkins

Za’layia Jenkins

“To see anyone in a casket is saddening, but to see a child in the casket is absolutely heartbreaking,” James Morris said.

“I have little ones of my own, girls, and I’m a school bus driver and I deal with kids all day every day and knowing this nine-year-old or 10-year-old won’t have a summer vacation — it’s sad. It’s real sad,” Reggie Newman said.

Za'layia Jenkins 10th birthday

Za’layia Jenkins 10th birthday

Those who knew and loved Za’layia Jenkins describe her as a happy, friendly girl, whose favorite color was purple. Those who never had the chance to know her feel that she is an example of what can be lost in a few minutes of violence.

“It’s sad I have to think of my children that way, but I fear for my children,” Morris said.

A $40,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case.

Za'layia Jenkins

Za’layia Jenkins

If you have any information that could help investigators in this case, you’re asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

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