Ashanti Grant: Reward raised to $30,000 for information on drive-by shooting of 9-year-old in southwest Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – The reward for information about the road rage shooting of a 9-year-old child in southwest Houston has been raised to $30,000.

At a Monday morning press conference, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Police Chief Troy Finner announced the increased reward.

According to Finner, an additional $25,000 in rewards was promised by Houston entrepreneur Tilman Fertitta.

Both Turner and Finner asked all Houstonians to pray for 9-year-old Ashanti Grant and her family as she remains in hospital in critical condition.

“I can’t even imagine what they’re going through,” Turner said. “We ask the city to pray for this entire family.”

“I’m going to call her princess, because that’s what she is,” Finner said. “She is precious.”

Ashanti was shot while walking to the grocery store with her family on the night of February 8. At the press conference on Monday, Ashanti’s uncle said she was sitting in the back of the car watching cartoons when she was shot.

Police said the family was driving around 9 p.m. in the 9800 block of the Southwest Freeway.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Child shot dead in road rage incident while family on their way to the grocery store, police say

That’s when another driver, who police say was driving a white GMC Denali, repeatedly cut the family’s vehicle. The driver then got behind the family vehicle and opened fire.

Finner said Ashanti’s father described the GMC Denali driver as a Hispanic male, in his 20s or 30s. There may also have been a passenger in the truck.

“His young life was forever changed by one cowardly act and, I stress, by someone, a criminal, driving down our streets and highways, thinking he was above the law,” Turner said. . “And, quite frankly, acting with complete disregard for human life.”

Both Turner and Finner had the same message for anyone who might have information on the suspect(s).

“Someone knows who the shooter is, and I encourage that person to pick up the phone and call Houston Crime Stoppers with the information police need to make and arrest and charge the shooter,” Turner said.

“A message to our suspect(s), the best thing to do is turn yourself in,” Finner warned. “All the resources at our disposal, and all of our law enforcement partners, we will come to the scene and take you into custody.”

A Crime Stoppers representative said that if the family’s pain isn’t motivation enough to do the right thing, let’s hope the increased reward is.

“Crime Stoppers of Houston has 30,000 reasons why someone should call and report what they know about the suspect who did this,” the rep said. “If you have a soul, you would call. But if you are driven by money, we have it.”

Turner revealed at the press conference that he and Finner are working with Houston Public Works, Houston TranStar and HPD to ensure city traffic cameras start recording at all times.

He explained that while there are Houston Transtar cameras around the city, they are currently intended to provide a real-time overview of the city.

He said that in the past the decision had been made not to record and store camera footage, to prevent local law enforcement from getting bogged down in civil disputes.

But now, and and Finner feel that with violent crime on the rise in the city, it’s time to start recording.

Turner hopes the insider will not only serve as a go-to for tracking down criminals and obtaining evidence, but also deterring criminals from acting in the first place.

“Everyone has to work as a team,” Finner said of efforts to start recording traffic cameras across the city.

Over the weekend, Ashanti Grant’s grandmother said it looked like the 9-year-old was improving.

READ MORE: Brain swelling improves for 9-year-old girl shot dead in apparent road rage shooting in southwest Houston

She has been in hospital since she was shot and has been in an induced coma for several days since undergoing surgery following the shooting.

“She’s gotten better with the swelling. The swelling has gone down a lot. She’s still not out of the woods, but we have something,” Ashanti’s grandmother Elaine Grant said. -Williams.

As Ashanti continues her fight, a GoFundMe has been set up to help her family with expenses while her parents continue to stick by her side.

Contact Crime Stoppers of Houston directly if you have any information related to this investigation. Information leading to the indictment and/or arrest of any crime suspect may result in a cash payment. Tipsters should contact Crime Stoppers directly to remain anonymous and be considered for cash payment by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477), submitting a tip online at www.crime-stoppers.org or through the app mobile Crime Stoppers.

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