FBI searches for killers of toddler in Hammond, Indiana


Joette “JoJo” Malone. (via FBI)

Two-year old Joette ‘JoJo’ Malone was fatally wounded after being caught in the crossfire of a shooting. The shooting took place in the parking lot of an apartment complex around 9:30 p.m. on July 29.

The toddler was in the backseat of her mother’s vehicle when two men exchanged shots and a stray bullet struck the child in the head.

READ MORE: South Carolina toddler killed in drive-by shooting

The girl’s mother, Ronnica Taylor, along with the police, the FBI, and the Lake County prosecutor’s office have called on the public to share any information that could help detectives.

As reported by Fox 59, the FBI is now offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible.

Taylor, who was not injured, said she saw one of the gunmen walk past the Kennedy Crossing Apartment Complex a moment before he suddenly opened fire.

“It was really fast shots, like pow, pow, pow, pow, pow,” Taylor recalled. “I believe he let off a whole clip. I don’t know what would make him do that because my car was running, the windows were down, the kids were playing loud.”

According to ABC7, the car was riddled with bullets and the back window was shot out.

“I grabbed her and I tried to call 911,” Taylor said. “I dropped the phone and kept giving her CPR. My vision went out. The parking lot went black. I was yelling, ‘someone call 911.’”

READ MORE: New $25K reward offered in search for abducted 3-year-old girl

The two-year-old was airlifted to Comer Children’s Hospital where she died.

“I do not sleep at night. I barely eat,” said the child’s grieving mother. “I really wish I had my baby back, but I cannot have her back, so I really wish that someone can help me bring her justice.”

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