Reward doubled for information in shooting of D.C. girl, 17

By Theola Labbé-DeBose
Thursday, October 29, 2009

Four days after high school senior Kenyetta Nicholson-Stanley was shot, an anonymous caller gave D.C. police details critical to the investigation of the death of the 17-year-old, who was an innocent bystander on a Northeast playground.

But the police need more information, and the tipster never called again.

Hoping to change that, D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) announced Wednesday that they have doubled the reward money to $50,000 for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the two gunmen who opened fire about 8 p.m. Oct. 8 in the 500 block of Edgewood Street NE. The gunmen's target was a security guard who worked in the Edgewood Terrace apartments, police said.

"If any case deserves a $50,000 reward, this one deserves it," Lanier said.

Lanier said officials doubled the reward because of the brazen nature of the crime -- an attempted killing of a uniformed security guard -- that claimed the life of an innocent bystander. Nicholson-Stanley was a senior at Hyde Leadership Public Charter school in the District, was slated to take her SATs and was planning to follow in her mother's and brother's footsteps and go to college, family members said.

The increased reward "is hopefully one symbol that we are committed to seeing this through until the killer or killers are brought to justice," Fenty said.

Lanier said that the community had been cooperative, sharing several tips with police since the shooting, but that detectives were eager to talk directly with the caller, who provided the tip about 2:30 p.m. Oct. 12.

"I really need you to call us back so I can put you in touch with the detectives," Lanier said. "The information you've provided has been extremely helpful but we just need a little bit more."

Speaking a few yards from where Nicholson-Stanley was shot, the mayor and police chief were flanked by members of Nicholson-Stanley's family, including her two brothers, a sister and her mother. Many wore memorial T-shirts that had a picture of a smiling Kenyetta in a yellow cap and gown, holding a rolled-up diploma across her chest. The photo was from her Catholic middle school graduation.

"I miss my daughter so terribly," said Sharon Stanley, 50. "My heart is shattered. In order for the healing to start for us, for my family, I need the person to call back and give the vital information that is needed to move this case forward."

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