Families, Detectives Plead for Tips in the Shootings of Four "Truly Innocent Victims"

By Jacob Rascon and Samantha Tata
|  Friday, Mar 22, 2013  |  Updated 10:19 PM PDT
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Riverside police Sgt. Dan Russell says investigations into four shootings on the city's east side have gone cold, despite rewards offered in three of the cases. Jacob Rascon reports from Riverside for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on March 22, 2013.

Jacob Rascon

Riverside police Sgt. Dan Russell says investigations into four shootings on the city's east side have gone cold, despite rewards offered in three of the cases. Jacob Rascon reports from Riverside for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on March 22, 2013.

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Telephones at the Riverside Police Department have gone quiet when it comes four shootings of "truly innocent victims" that have detectives baffled.

"It’s extremely frustrating," said Sgt. Dan Russell. "In each one, the shooter's talked to somebody and somebody knows what's happened."

Last year, Kim Butts’ sister was killed. Ashanti Hassan was shot six times in June, apparently for nothing.

"I was just numb for a little bit," Butts said.

In a year, Hassan, Gregory Ball, Arturo Reyes and 14-year-old Lareanz Simmons were fatally show within blocks from each other on Riverside’s east side (map below).

"These people were just shot for no particular reason whatsoever," said Russell, who leads the police department’s robbery and homicide unit. "It's baffling to all of us. These are four truly innocent victims."

Authorities said tipsters may not come forward out of fear, but detectives and the victims’ families are pleading for information that could solve their loves one’s killing.

"My sister was just that, my sister," Butts said. "She was brilliant. She had something to offer."

Rewards are being offered in three of the four cases:

  • Lareanz Simmons: $50,000
  • Ashanti Hassan: $10,000
  • Gregory Ball: $10,000

Anyone with information is urged to call 800-WE-TIP or 951-353-7100.

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