The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors reinstated a $10,000 reward Tuesday for information leading to the assailant who gunned down a Long Beach resident in a park restroom last year.
Supervisor Janice Hahn recommended reestablishing the reward in the killing of 57-year-old Fred Taft, a Long Beach resident who was shot in the head and upper body about 4:25 p.m. on July 21, 2018, at Pan American Park in the 5100 block of Centralia Street.
The county’s reward expired May 31 but will now be available for at least the next 90 days. The city of Long Beach had offered an additional $20,000 to bring the total reward to $30,000, but it was not immediately clear whether that offer still stands.
Taft had been attending a family reunion in the park, with between 40 and 50 people in attendance.
Police released a composite drawing of the suspected gunman, described as a white man in his 50s, 6 feet tall with a medium build. He was wearing a dark shirt, light shorts and a hat when he fled on foot, police said.
At a news conference last September, Taft’s family pleaded for the public’s help.
“We are devastated,” Taft’s daughter, Corie Taft, said. “My dad was everything for all of us. I loved my father more than life itself, and I miss him dearly every day. So do the rest of our family. He had two grandchildren, who ask for ‘paw-paw’ every day. He was a great man who loved his family, his friends and God. We are all devastated and heartbroken, and we need answers.”
Police said a motive for the crime was unknown, but it appeared to have been an isolated incident.
Relatives of Taft, who was black, believe the killing was a hate crime.
Taft’s daughter previously told the Los Angeles Times that a person who had been playing softball nearby said his group had been harassed in the park hours before the shooting by a group of white men on bikes who were using racial slurs.
A friend of Taft’s who was at the party told the newspaper that she saw a man carrying a rifle run out of the bathroom toward Centralia Avenue after the shooting.
Anyone with information was urged to contact Long Beach police homicide Detectives Michael Hubbard and Adrian Garcia at 562-570-7244. Anonymous tips may also be submitted through Crime Stoppers by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477) or at lacrimestoppers.org.
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