The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday voted unanimously to increase the reward from $50,000 to $75,000 for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the Dec. 2 killing of 7-year-old Taalib Pecantte.
Because Taalib’s mother, Sawan Mock, was also shot in the car-to-car attack in the 1900 block of South Corning Street in the Mid-City area, the crime qualifies for a $75,000 reward.
Mock, 28, sustained a non-life-threatening graze wound to her right leg, according to LAPD Detective Rolando Rodriguez.
Taalib was sitting in a parked car with his mother and another man when a white car pulled up and someone opened fire, sending a bullet into the child’s back, police said. The second-grader, who played football for the Compton Vikings, was declared dead at a hospital a day later.
Rodriguez described the murder of the 7-year-old boy as “totally senseless” and said he hopes the larger reward will increase the chances the culprit or culprits will be brought to justice.
“We’ve gotten some calls,” said Rodriguez. “We’re just looking for anything and everything. Any clue, any rumor ... let us determine if it is a good clue or not and we’ll go from there.”
A third victim, Royce Jobe, who is in his early 30s, was shot in the back, Rodriguez said. Jobe is believed to be a gang member in the area where the shooting occurred, which might have made him a target, he said.
“We believe they came looking for a gangster,” Rodriguez said. “They weren’t specifically gunning for him.”
City Councilman Herb Wesson called Tuesday for the bigger reward.
“It ain’t OK to kill a 7-year-old boy,” Wesson said. “And whoever you are, we’re going to do everything in our power to find you (and) convict you.”
The boy’s father, Abu Hussein, pleaded for witnesses to come forward and identify the killers.
“These individuals ... murdered my son,” Hussein said. “I want justice to prevail, and these individuals to be captured.”
Anyone with more information about the shooting was urged to call the LAPD’s 24-hour toll-free number, (877) LAPD-24-7. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.