FBI offers $25,000 reward in search for suspects in 4-year-old’s death in Detroit

A 4-year-old boy died in May when shots were fired into his family's Detroit home

4-year-old boy killed in shooting on Detroit's west side.

DETROIT – FBI Special Agent in Charge Steve D’Antuono announced during a news conference Wednesday a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the death of a 4-year-old boy in Detroit.

Nathaniel “Messiah” Roby-Townsend died just after midnight on May 21 when someone fired shots into his family’s home on Birwood Street near Seven Mile Road.

Family members said the children were in bed when someone drove by and opened fire, hitting Nathaniel. He was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

His Grandmother, Pansy Glaster, said he had gotten up for a late night snack and was walking toward the back of the house where the rest of the children were when the shots were fired.

“We thought he had already made it to the back, but he never made it to the back with the rest of the kids,” Glaster said. “He was shot. He was shot in the head.”

  • You can watch our report on this incident in May in the video player above.

Police have identified the possible vehicle the shooter was in as a white GMC minivan.

“I just want to say. I want justice for my son,” said Marlisha Roby, Messiah’s mother. “He was only 4 years old. He didn’t deserve none of this. He was too jolly, he didn’t get a chance to live his life.”

Anyone with information can contact the FBI at 1-800-CALLFBI or by submitting a tip online here.

Officials announced the new reward as part of Detroit’s participation in Operation Legend to reduce and prevent gang and gun violence in the city.

READ MORE: ‘Operation Legend’ to bring federal agents to Detroit: Here’s what that will look like

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.