Crime Stoppers hopes recent reward increase will bring teen's killer to justice

Crime Stoppers has increased the reward to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the murderer of 15-year-old Danica Nelson.

Danica was shot and killed early Saturday morning while out with two friends. Her friends were also shot, but not critically wounded.

Just after 1AM, Cleveland Third District Police received a call to 3914 Longwood in the Longwood Estates for shots fired. When officers arrived on scene, three shooting victims were spotted.

Danica was shot in the head. The second victim was also a 15-year-old black female with a graze gunshot wound to the arm. The third victim is a 19-year-old black male who was shot in the foot.

Danica was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center where she died from injuries. The second female victim refused treatment and the third victim was transported to St. Vincent Charity Hospital where he was treated and released.

A prayer vigil, one of the biggest we've seen in some time, was held for the victims Monday evening at the shooting site.

"My daughter did not deserve to die out here on these streets," said Dwayne Nelson. "She missed out on a future because she was going to be somebody."

Danica was a beautiful and bright young woman. Already taking college prep courses at Tri-C, at the age of 15.

Also attending the vigil, Phyllis Cleveland, the city council member for this ward.

"We need more police everywhere in this city and this county and that's just not going to happen. We all understand the financial situation the city is in so we've got to be able to work smarter," said Phyllis Cleveland.

While on scene, officers received information from Longwood Security Officers that they observed two males discharging a handgun in a southbound direction on E. 38th Street. The Security Officers confronted the males and ordered them to drop the gun. The male then dropped the gun and both males fled the scene. The officers pursued the males with negative results. Upon checking the area where the shots were fired the three victims were located and EMS was notified.

Third District officers toured area for suspects with negative results.

The handgun was recovered on scene and placed in evidence.

The first suspect was described as a black male medium complexion, wearing a white ball cap, red jogging jacket and jeans. The second suspect was described only as dark complected. Witness say they saw the males enter and exit in a black mini-van.

This investigation is being handled by the Third District Detective Bureau.

The Cleveland Division of Police is asking that anyone with information about this incident to contact the Fourth District Detective Bureau at 216.623.5318. Anonymous information can be given to Crime Stoppers by calling 216.252.7463 or Text messaging to Text TIP657 plus your message to Crimes (274637).

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