HAMILTON, Ohio -- Hamilton police are continuing to investigate the death of a man gunned down on his 24th birthday, but there has been little cooperation from witnesses and a reward is now being offered, according to Chief Craig Bucheit.
Jaylen A. Kinney of Trotwood was shot at about 11:13 p.m. Thursday at the dead end of Chestnut Street and west Front Street.
“This was a targeted attack and we have reason to believe there were multiple witnesses to the shooting,” Bucheit told the Journal-News on Monday. “So far there has been very little cooperation.”
Bucheit said he is confident investigators will “quickly” bring those responsible to justice with the full cooperation of witnesses at the scene and people in the neighborhood who may have seen or heard something.
“As an added incentive we are offing $5,000 for those individuals who come forward with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible,” Bucheit said.
James E. Wynn III is the pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church, which sits in the area where the shooting is believed to have occurred. He spoke with the Journal-News about the homicide and the need for a more “structured response” to violence in the city.
“Some of the local pastors met last week about how we can come with a structured plan to address this senseless violence in the city,” Wynn said. “We are trying to put in place seminars and a lot things to help.”
While no formal plans have been made, he said “outreach at a greater level” is needed to stop senseless shootings that he said give Hamilton a bad name.
Wynn said older and younger members of the congregations around the city are wanting to step up, and they understand that daunting challenge of getting people to stop the violence.
“We are dealing with a lost generation. You have to get in their minds and figure out what their state of mind is. Is the problem jobs, or lack of role models or a father? We are trying to come up with a way to address these issues,” Wynn said.
Also entering the discussion in the neighborhood, according to Wynn, is how residents can work better with police to help solve crimes — including Kinney’s murder.
“Pastors , police and city officials are all involved, but we can never do enough because the challenge will always be before us. But I speak very highly of Police Chief Craig Bucheit. I know he has concerns about these issues as well — not only from the standpoint of a police point-of-view, but as a father who has children himself,” Wynn said.
The area of Chestnut Street and west Front Street where Kinney was shot had a lot of pedestrian activity Monday afternoon, but none of the residents wanted to comment about the case or the reward being offered for information.
“This is why we are trying to create a symposium in order to educate people on why they need to get involved,” Wynn said, noting he has observed the reluctance of people to say something when they have information. “We have to keep building a bridge between the community and police.”
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