Gary Indiana

Reward Doubled in Fatal Shooting of 12-Year-Old Gary Boy

Demetrius Townsel Jr. was shot and killed Saturday night while riding in a vehicle in Gary

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The reward for information has doubled in the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old boy while riding in a vehicle Saturday night in Gary.

Demetrius Townsel Jr. was shot and killed after leaving a gas station Saturday in the 600 block of Grant Street, according to community activist Andrew Holmes and local officials.

Holmes said Townsel Jr's twin had to hold the young boy "all the way to the hospital," and put pressure on his wound to help keep him alive.

"Somebody in this neighborhood knows who took this baby’s life," Holmes said. "What about his graduation? What about his future?"

The community activist and the boy's family annnounced on Monday a $2,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of whoever shot the 12-year-old, but that rewarded was doubled to $4,000 after a donation from Chicago businessman Early Walker on Wednesday.

“This young man was being held by his own 12-year-old brother in the backseat of the car on the way to the hospital,” Walker said. “If that doesn’t hit home, I don’t know what does. We are urging this killer to come forward and to turn yourselves in."

The family is hoping that the killer will be arrested before Thomas’ funeral on June 5.

Townsel Jr's father, Demetrius Townsel, Sr., said despite the hurt he was feeling, he knew he had to keep his composure for his other son.

"Why would you take my baby’s life? My baby was just 12 years old," he said. "How could you take that from me?"

The young boy's mothe described her loving son as someone who always turn a person's frown into a smile.

"I can't hold my baby no more. Please turn yourself in," she pleaded.

Anyone with information on the young boy's death is asked to call the Gary Police Department at 219-881-7300.

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