Houston police are offering a $30,000 reward for anyone with information about the shooting of Ashanti Grant. The 9-year-old girl was hurt in a road rage shooting on Feb. 8 and is currently fighting for her life in the hospital. Anyone with information is asked to come forward.
During a press conference on Monday, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner talked about the reward increase. They said an additional $25,000 had been donated from Houston entrepreneur Tilman Fertitta. The reward was originally set to $5,000.
They also informed the public that Ashanti Grant is currently in critical condition at the hospital. While the swelling in her brain has gone down, doctors have placed her in a medically induced coma. The 9-year-old girl was shot in the head and her family is asking for prayers.
The mayor also said that 125 Houston police officers have been added to the streets to help search for the suspect. “Nine-year-old Ashanti is an innocent child who was struck by a bullet,” Turner said. “Ashanti should be in her school with her teachers and classmates and returning to her family. Instead, she remains in a hospital, fighting to recover.”
It was revealed during the press conference that the city’s street cameras are not always recording. Mayor Turner said that they are currently working with Houston Public Works, Houston TranStar and HPD to ensure that the traffic cameras are recording at all times.
The mayor said that the city had previously prevented the cameras from recording and storing video footage because they didn’t want the police department to be overwhelmed by civil litigation. Currently, the cameras only allow officials to have a real-time view of the city.
After the press conference, the Houston Mayor’s Office tweeted about the shooting and gave contact information for those with tips about the shooter. They said, “Precious 9-year-old Ashanti Grant who was tragically shot during an apparent act of road rage, remains in critical condition. I am urging all those who know something to STEP UP and provide information. If you have any details, please call @CrimeStopHOU at 713-222-TIPS (8477).”
According to reports, police are looking for an unidentified male driver and possible female passenger who are believed to be suspects in the road rage incident. The family reported that the man was driving a white GMC Denali pickup truck and was a Hispanic male between 20 and 30 years of age. They said that they were driving to the grocery store around 9 p.m. on Feb. 8 when the suspect aggressively cut them off multiple times.
They believed that the truck was drag racing with another vehicle when Ashanti Grant’s family got caught in the middle. At one point, when the Denali got stuck behind them, the family heard shots. The 9-year-old little girl was sitting in the back watching cartoons when it happened. She was hit in the head.
“This is the first time we saw a change for the better. The swelling on her brain is reduced a great deal,” said the little girl’s grandmother, Elaine Grant Williams. “She is not completely out of the woods yet, but for us, we will take anything we can get.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe page for Ashanti Grant. All the money donated will help pay for medical expenses and allow her parents to stay by her side while she recovers. So far, the page has raised over $23,000 with an original goal of $100,000.
Houston Police are asking anyone with information about the shooter to call Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-521-4600 or the Houston Police Department.