Reward grows to $110K in teen’s death
Detroit — An additional reward of $100,000 has been offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the east-side shooting that left a Grosse Pointe Farms teenager dead.
Assistant Detroit Police Chief Steve Dolunt made the announcement Monday alongside members of the police department and Andrew Arena, executive director of the Detroit Crime Commission, which is handling the reward.
“We were contacted (Sunday) by a group of donors who want to remain anonymous,” Arena said. “They have compiled $100,000 to basically lead to the arrest and conviction of the subject or subjects in this case.”
The six-figure reward is in addition to a $10,000 reward previously offered by Crime Stoppers.
Paige Stalker, a 16-year-old University Liggett School student, died Dec. 22 in the shooting near Charlevoix and Philip on Detroit’s east side.
A man opened fire on a car after getting out of a tan or beige sedan, according to police. Three other teens were wounded; a fifth teen was not injured.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Detroit Police Department at (313) 596-2663.
Arena said the donors of the $100,000, who live in Metro Detroit, know each other and the families of the victims. They have had previous experience with the nonprofit crime commission.
“They know us, they have a history with us and quite frankly they trust us with handling their money,” Arena said. “We’re usually not involved in rewards ... and this is probably a one-time deal for us.”
Police will contact individuals who leave their name and number on the tip line, Dolunt said.
“We will do everything we can to have the tipster remain anonymous,” he said. “However, because of the amount of money, they’ll have to be vetted through our homicide section.”
According to police, the shooter exited from the rear of his sedan and fired about 30 shots at the teens during a “robbery gone bad.”
“They were at that location and the gunman did exit the vehicle,” said Capt. Eric Decker. “There was something said that would lead us to believe it was some sort of robbery.”
Decker said it wasn’t clear what words were exchanged, but “something to the effect of ‘Get out of the car.’ ”
The gunman opened fire as the teens tried to escape, Decker said. “The driver did try to drive off and shots were fired at the vehicle,” he said.
Paige was sitting in the front passenger seat, according to Decker.
He said nothing was stolen during the incident, which lasted just seconds. Police recovered 26 spent rounds at the scene.
“This crime didn’t happen in a bubble,” Decker said. “People know about this incident. There are people talking (and) there are people who probably witnessed it, who have knowledge. We need that information.”
Arena said he hoped the six-figure reward would help tipsters overcome fear of retaliation.
“I think $100,000 will go a long way to making sure you can protect yourself and your family,” he said. “You can relocate; you can do what you need to do if you have that fear.”
The crime commission is committed to helping a tipster remain safe, Arena said. “We will counsel them and we will work with them to help protect themselves in any way possible.”
Oakland County attorney Thomas Guastello donated $5,000 of the $10,000 Crime Stoppers reward.
“Let’s get justice for this girl,” said Guastello, a local real estate developer who is a former Grosse Pointe resident and whose four children attended Liggett.
Guastello said he didn’t know Stalker’s family, but the teen’s mother and grandfather called Sunday to thank him for the donation. “To have something like this happen to such a wonderful person ... it could have been one of my kids,” he said.
The area where the teens stopped, west of Alter and south of Mack, is remote and desolate.
Dolunt said Paige and the other teens were “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“Why they were there, I don’t really care,” he said. “She shouldn’t have died and they shouldn’t have been shot.”