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Reward increased as family pleads for answers in Winter Haven July 4th homicide

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 17:23:48-04

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Winter Haven Police Department is doubling its award for information leading to an arrest in Demetrick Brown's murder.

Joined by Brown's family, Police Chief David Brannan announced the reward has ticked up to $10,000.

"What we need is more help from the public, people who may have seen something."

Brown was shoot during a Fourth of July block party this year. Two others were injured.

His family remembered him as a humble and kind-hearted person.

"They gave a $10,000 reward for my brother's death. Which is a lot of money for some. It shouldn't even take $10,000, because he was an innocent guy. Stand up guy, humble person, will give you the shirt off his back," Dejuan Hopkins said.

Brown's family said it's been hard for them, walking around knowing the person responsible for Brown's death is free.

"I know many people that was out there someone seeing something, you know, and it's hard house, because we don't know. We could be standing beside the killer one day in the grocery store. Don't even know it," said his father, Roger Campbell.

On Thursday, investigators went out into the neighborhood where the shooting happened. Police and the family went door to door hanging fliers, staking yard signs, and talking to people in the neighborhood.

"All that don't snitch, that's got to stop. It's got to stop. Because if it was one of your family members, you will want the same thing. You wouldn't want to sit around for a month, two months, three months in limbo. Worrying if the case is going to get solved or if it'll be a cold case for five, 10 years," said Campbell. "No, we don't want that. We want justice."

Brown leaves behind two sons; three-year-old Kobe and one-year-old King.. Kenya Wright, Kobe's mother spoke up, saying the death has been hard on her son.

“We’ve been having a hard time. My son is three, so he doesn’t understand where his dad is. He just understands he doesn’t know where his dad is," she said. “One day my son is going to grow up and ask where his dad is. I don’t want to have to tell him someone took his life and they’re still out there."

Police said there was about 100 people in the vacant lot on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard NE on the Fourth of July. Just as fireworks started to go off, someone started shooting.

"We've interviewed probably close to 100 people at this time. We need that one piece out there to close this case," said Chief Brannan.

A week after that shooting, WHPD posted a photo of a woman they were looking to talk to.

Chief Brannan said they were able to find her, but more information is still needed.

If you have information about the homicide, you can call Crimestoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS. You can also text or dial **TIPS from your cell phone.