FRESNO, Calif. - Crime Stoppers is putting a bounty on gang members as police increase reward money to bring down violence. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer released new details on the murder of 18-year-old Kayla Foster. She was shot and killed in Southwest Fresno last month.
One community leader said it's something he's never seen before. The police chief and the mayor giving 100 percent attention to a community scarred by violence. Together, they're asking gangs to lay down their guns.
"We are collectively calling for a gang truce in the City of Fresno with West Fresno gangs and those gang members that are out there wreaking havoc in our city," said Chief Dyer.
Sending a message and speaking for those who are tired of losing loved ones to senseless violence.
"We have to stand up in our community and stop waiting on folks to give us handouts. We need to rebuild our community ourselves," said Pastor B.T. Lewis.
After meeting together for more than an hour, Dyer, Mayor Brand and community leaders stood united, pledging to do whatever it takes to end gang violence in Fresno. Dyer says Kayla Foster wasn't targeted but her death is a product of a feud between rival gangs. The chief says police are learning more about the suspects responsible for the crime but need more evidence to make arrests.
"Even when they find the person that killed my baby, they still have people that's in a position to be killed by gang members if we don't find a different alternative," said Kayla's father, Aaron Foster.
Kayla's family says the teen would be standing with leaders today, fighting for peace if she were still alive.
"Kayla would have been standing right here if it was someone else, she would have been right here with us advocating to stop the violence," said Janice Sumler, Kayla's great aunt.
"She's looking down and she's proud but she's upset because her life was taken," said Cheryl Sumler, Kayla's grandmother.
Crime Stoppers is putting out a bounty on gang members. The reward for info leading to the arrest and conviction of Foster's killer is now $5,000. $3,000 for tips leading to gang members arrested with an assault rifle or convicted of human trafficking. Tips leading to a seizure of a handgun is worth $2,000 and turning in a gang member involved in a drug sale will earn you a $1,000.
Chief Dyer says it's up to citizens to bring real peace to their neighborhoods.
"Calling for a gang truce is easy. Implementing it is hard and it's the people that are standing behind me today that are already making that happen," said Dyer.
Dyer also says shootings in Southwest Fresno are down since Kayla Foster was killed. He credits community leaders for their work behind the scenes.