HEMPSTEAD - The mayor of Hempstead is praising citizens of the village for doing their part to see that the shooting death of a 12-year-old girl didn't go unsolved.
Jakwan Keller, 20, is facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of Dejah Joyner, the girl who was struck by a stray bullet in her home last October.
Nassau Crime Stoppers received more than 40 tip calls, 22 of which had helpful information that led to Keller's arrest, police say. Investigators also received video from residents in the area that was helpful.
Hempstead Mayor Wayne Hall was relentless in telling people who saw something to say something. This time, he says, people listened.
"This was like the tipping point where enough was enough," Hall says. "This thing about 'snitches get stitches' is a thing of the past, and they all came together to give the police the information that they needed to arrest this person."
The Nassau police chief says Keller’s arrest also sends the message to people that the department will be relentless in its pursuit of bringing people to justice.
Residents who spoke with News 12 say Joyner’s young age coupled with pressure from churches in the community gave people with information the impetus to reach out to police.
Hall says it marks the turning of a new leaf in solving crime in the community. Some residents, however, are skeptical.
"A lot of shootings are going on in this neighborhood and nothing is being said, heard or even solved," says resident Joe Bell.
Anyone with information on a crime can anonymously call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 1-800-244-TIPS.