‘You’re protecting the child killer’: Mother of slain daughter says to silent witnesses; $20K reward offered in 9-year-old’s death
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The FBI and Richmond police announced a $20,000 reward Tuesday, for help in finding the suspect who shot and killed Markiya Dickson, 9, at a south Richmond park, last month.
Markiya Dickson, a third-grader who attended school in Chesterfield, was caught in the crossfire of the shooting on May 26 over Memorial Day Weekend, at Carter Jones Park during a community cookout with dozens of families.
Detectives revealed more information about the shooting at a press conference, Tuesday.
Richmond Police Lieutenant Faith Flippo said the shooting was not random, and that there were two groups of people fighting on the park’s basketball court. Flippo showed a map where Markiya and two other victims were caught in the crossfire.
An 11-year-old boy was injured in the shooting. Investigators revealed Tuesday that another adult male had been struck by gunfire as well, who came forward the following day.
In late May, the Richmond Police Department released this information about the suspects they were looking for in connection to the shooting:
- “Suspect 1: A young black male who was seen with no shirt on and wearing a white towel or T-shirt on his head. He is believed to have braids that are shoulder length.”
- “Suspect 2: A young black male with a medium build and short cropped hair. He was seen wearing blue shirt and grey or dark colored pants.”
- “Suspect 3: A young black male wearing dark clothing.”
"At this point, you're protecting the child killer," said Markiya’s mother Ciara Dickson, to those witnesses that know who pulled the trigger, but are remaining silent.
"’Oh, I’m not going to snitch on the monster,’” said Markiya’s father Mark Whitfield, referencing those who are afraid to come forward. “What do you think that monster is going to do if he did this to my child? They can do it to somebody else's child."
The family held a painting of Markiya and her older sister Samaya, 11, given to them after Markiya’s death.
"I'm the one who picked my baby up off the ground in that same exact spot. I close my eyes and I see those images every day. Every day. Every night," said Whitfield.
Investigators say they have cell phone video, and a list of potential suspects. But they don't have an eye witness to help tie the case together for prosecution.
"We can't make solid cases that lead to good prosecutions without witnesses," said Richmond FBI Special Agent in Charge David Archey.
“We need you to come forward. It’s the right thing to do,” said Flippo, addressing the public. "It’s heartbreaking to know that we don’t have one person who says, ‘I’m the one who took that video, and I saw that person with the gun, shooting it.’”
Mark Whitfield and Ciara Dickson are now set to attend the Virginia General Assembly’s special session on gun control on Tuesday, July 9.
“There are people out here putting their hands on guns who shouldn’t be touching guns,” said Whitfield. “(Gun control legislation) means a lot. And it’s not just for my daughter. It’s for any other kid or any other parent who went through this.”
Anyone with information in the shooting is asked to call Richmond police or the FBI at 804-261-1044.
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