A 9-year-old Georgia boy was fatally shot by a heartless “coward” during a drive-by shooting as he slept in his bed, police said.
Nigel Brown was discovered unresponsive by his mother Sunday after being shot in the head as he slept in the family’s home. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
“Some coward on the streets of Albany, Georgia, took his life,” Police Chief Michael Persely said Monday at a press conference. “And I say coward because the loss of one life is too many, but definitely in this case, this was a senseless killing.”
Persely apologized to the boy’s relatives for the “actions of those who did this” and said he planned to meet with his mother.
“But most of all, I just want to comfort her because she needs it,” Persely said while calling on the public to come forth with tips to solve the boy’s slaying that occurred after someone in a car opened fire.
“The police are part of the solution; we’re not the final solution,” Persely said. “We’ve said time and time again, it’s not just us. We’re going to need everybody in this. This is a community problem … I need your help.”
A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the case. All callers will remain anonymous and do not have to leave their name or telephone number, police said.
Nigel’s mother, two other children and their great-grandfather were also in the home at the time of the shooting, police said. The boy’s slaying prompted at least one local official to call for increased action against gun violence, WALB reported.
“If we don’t take action and make real reforms to stabilize our neighborhoods and make our community safer for our children, our elders and everyone, things will not change,” Ward 6 Albany City Commissioner Demetrius Young said in a statement. “I am calling for a renewed focus on the issues that contribute to gun violence and create an environment that leads to youth violence.”
A felony murder charge is likely to be filed in the case, Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards told reporters Monday.
“This is a tragedy,” Edwards said. “This child was in his bed, thinking that he’s going to get up the next morning and play with his sister, as he was playing with his sister that night … We need in this community to do all that we can to bring this matter to justice.”