Reward swells to $75,000 as search continues for girl’s killer

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HEMPSTEAD, Long Island — Grief counselors are on hand at a Long Island middle school Monday to support children whose 12-year-old classmate was killed when a stray bullet pierced her home, authorities said.

Dejah Joyner was pronounced dead Saturday evening. The day before, she was in her living room when a single gunshot was fired into the home from outside, police said. Joyner was struck in the head and rushed to a hospital where she died the next day.

Investigators believe the bullet was intended for a young man who was also living at that address.

The young victim attended Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School where grief counselors will be available to students grieving the tragic loss of their classmate.

Neighbors said the block where Joyner lived has seen multiple shootings this year. Resident Alex Cruz said he's counted five targeted attacks so far and plans to leave the area as soon as possible.

"I just went to Home Depot this morning. I bought all the packages that I need to pack and leave, 'cause I’m afraid this is gonna get worse. This is not gonna get any better. This is a gang-related thing," Cruz said. "This is like, back and forth. They go do their thing, they come back and an innocent girl just got in the middle. I don’t want my family to be next."

As of Monday morning, no arrests have been made. A reward of $75,000 has been posted for information that leads to a break in the case.

Anyone with information in the case is urged to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.

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