HEMPSTEAD - It was all smiles at the "Safe Halloween" costume party in Hempstead Halloween night. Children were dancing, playing on the swings and filling their bags with candy.
The party was hosted by the Hempstead Village Fire Department.
Officials say the party is a way to give kids and their parents an alternative to trick-or-treating. Some parents have been weary of allowing children to trick-or-treat in the wake of recent violence.
Since 2007, 295 people in Hempstead have been hurt by gunfire and 50 of them were deadly. Just two weeks ago, 12-year-old Dejah Joyner was killed by a stray bullet that came through a window of her home while she was eating dinner. The seventh-grader died the next day.
People at the event remembered Dejah and tried to promote safety in the community.
A $75,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest in Joyner's murder. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.