Rally seeks to generate tips in baby's shooting death
Someone holds the key to solving the shooting death of 15-month-old Marcus White Jr., gunned down during an East Hills picnic in May.
Through tears and fiery speeches, members of the infant's family and community supporters Saturday begged the shooters to turn themselves in, or for someone to provide any information that could lead to an arrest.
“I just need for someone in this world to come clean about Marcus being killed,” said great-aunt Denise Turner of Homewood to about 70 people who attended a rally at Freedom Corner in the Hill District. “I just need someone to come and say who the shooters were who took this baby's life.”
Many family members wore T-shirts bearing pictures of the smiling baby, with slogans that read, “Justice for Baby Mac.”
“(Marcus) was part of our future,” said Phillip Battle Jr., pastor of New Light Temple Baptist Church in the Hill District. “It's just not acceptable for him to be eliminated from our community.”
Pittsburgh police said at least three gunmen got out of a vehicle and started shooting into a crowd during a picnic in a common area on East Hills Drive about 7:30 p.m. on May 21. Marcus died in Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh from a bullet in the chest. His aunts, whom White's great-grandmother Lenora “Connie” Smith identified as Shedayah and Kadejiah Tyler, also were shot. Family members said Saturday that the girls have recovered from their injuries and have returned to college.
Police found Shedayah Tyler lying on top of Marcus. Police said at the time they did not believe the victims were the intended target.
Detectives did not receive many tips following the shooting, and have interviewed and re-interviewed people in connection with the case, Lt. Kevin Kraus said Friday. The investigation still is active, he said, but police have not identified a suspect.
Marcus' parents, Jameela Tyler, 23, and Marcus White Sr., 25, both of Homewood, said they were grateful for the turnout and hoped it would spur someone to come forward.
“There's a lot of people that care about my son,” White said. “There's a lot of people who are still following the story.”
Trib Total Media staff writer Margaret Harding contributed to this report.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.