Family of man killed shielding son issues plea to catch shooter
The family of an Inglewood man killed last week while shielding his young son from gunfire joined city officials at an emotional news conference Monday to plead with the public for help in solving the case and offer a $10,000 reward.
"I love my brother with all my heart," said Micharri Pratts, Fredrick Martin Jr.'s half-sister. "And there's nothing I want more right now than to catch the people who did this and caused such pain for my family."
The reward is being offered by Pratts' father, Michael, who said he had known Martin since he was a young boy.
"Fred is a hero," Michael Pratts said. "He died protecting his 8-year-old son. He put his body in front of these senseless gunmen."
On Tuesday evening, the 28-year-old father was cleaning the garage of his grandmother's Inglewood home, along with his son, Fredrick "Tre" Martin III, and the boy's godfather, Joseph Hickman, when they heard gunfire nearby. Hickman was shot in the ankle.
Inglewood Mayor James Butts said he knew Martin's mother personally and spoke highly of the family, at one point choking up during the news conference.
"It's an outstanding family," the mayor said. "And this has put a hole in their heart that will never be filled."
Butts said the city is considering whether to add more money to the reward. That decision is being handled by the police department, which would then forward it to the council for approval.
The mayor and police officials refused to disclose details of the investigation or descriptions of the suspects. They say its unclear at this point whether the incident was gang related, although they do not believe Martin had any ties to gangs.
"We really don't have much," said Inglewood police Lt. James Madia. "Were here because we want to get the word out."
More than a dozen family members and friends were also in attendance at the news conference, including Hickman, who was standing on crutches and had his ankle in a cast. Hickman declined to comment.
-- Sam Allen in Inglewood