STOCKTON (CBS13) — Crime Stoppers has doubled the reward offered for information leading to an arrest in the killing of a 3-year-old girl. The reward now stands at $20,000.
Melanie Martinez was caught in the crossfire Sunday in south Stockton as she sat in the backseat of her family’s car. She was sitting in the back seat of her family’s Nissan as they were driving near Commerce and Jefferson streets. Suddenly, gunshots went off, and when her family members looked back to check on her, they realized that she had been shot. They rushed to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.
At a vigil for Martinez, Stockton’s mayor Anthony Silva joined the grieving family and friends. He said change starts with the community.
“Police are not the saviors of the people, the people are. The people need to step up and say ‘we don’t want to tolerate this behavior in our city anymore,’” Silva said.
Cynthia says she recalls the shooting. She says she was inside of her home when she thought she heard fireworks. She soon realized they were gunshots.
“So innocent, three years old,” said a neighbor named Cynthia. “It’s just crazy.”
Investigators haven’t identified a motive or suspects but believe several shots were fired on Sunday night after finding multiple shell casings in the area.