Reward in case of teen gunned down at birthday party

April 20, 2011 3:14:24 PM PDT
The parents of a teenager shot and killed during a birthday party in Chicago's South Austin community last month are hoping a reward will help lead to information into their son's killer.

More than 100 people attended the party where Devin Dyer was shot. It is believed that people at the party and in their West Side community may know about the shooting but are staying silent.

The family of 18-year-old Dyer is asking dozens of witnesses to cooperate and have the courage to talk to police investigators.

Dyer's parents say they understand that some people may be afraid and fear retaliation. But, they say, they're hopeful that someone out there will have a conscience and realize how much the Dyer family is suffering each day.

"We are hurting daily. His family is hurting daily, and we can have some type of peace if they would just point out and identify the shooter," said Dyer's mother Sonya Burks.

Dyer's parents are begging witnesses -- dozens of them -- to be courageous and help solve the killing.

"It takes a big man to come forward and do the right thing. It's easy to hide. It's easy to say, 'Oh, well, I'm afraid to come forward,' " said Catrell Dyer, Devin's father.

The victim's parents, along with friends and family, gathered on a West Side street corner Wednesday afternoon, holding signs and wearing t-shirts with Dyer's picture.

The family also announced a $10,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the killer.

"He always talked about 'my friends,' " said Catrell Dyer. "If you're not going to do it for him, then do it for the reward."

Dyer's parents are frustrated because they say -- and police confirm -- that dozens of people witnessed the shooting on March 6.

Dyer was killed at a birthday party in an Austin apartment. Investigators say they work on the case almost every day, but witnesses refuse to talk and cooperate. Community members say that's unacceptable.

"We tell our children to do the right thing. Doggone it, we have to do the right thing. The right thing is coming forward, removing whoever this killer is, off of our streets. Let's give Devin justice," said Virgil Crawford of the group People Organized for Public Progress.

Police say that gang members were at the party. But Dyer's parents insist their son was not a gang member and not the intended target of that shooting.

Aside from Dyer, three other people were shot and injured as well. They survived.

Anyone with information should call Chicago police.