Baltimore authorities and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan are offering a $ 16,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of any suspects who may have fatally shot Brunson at the party on the 1700 block of East Lafayette Avenue around 12:30 a.m. that night, according to the Baltimore Police Department (BPD).
“People are trying to hold on to the positive memories, but it’s just a lot,” his aunt, Jessica Hair, said. “He was so loved. When I think of Jay, I think of love. His smile. His laughter. If I just had one more time to tell him I loved him and tell him I’m proud of him, I would give anything to do that. If we only had more time.”
“He was a child. He was good. He was a breath of fresh air,” a tearful Hair said of her nephew, adding that his biggest concern the day before prom was deciding what he would wear.
A BPD spokesperson confirmed to Fox News Digital on Friday that the location of the shooting was an Airbnb and that the department’s investigation into the incident is open and active.
His aunt said Jay, a junior at Carver Vocational-Technical High School, was not involved in any kind of street or gang-related activity, and she was not sure if he had problems with any other kids at school because he never spoke about those issues. He had a very “positive,” and “go-with-the-flow” personality, she explained.
“It’s not unusual to go to a party after prom,” Hair said. “We all did it. … There are so many stories going around, and a lot of speculation.”
Brunson’s family is “devastated,” going through the “motions of grief,” thinking about what they could “have done differently” and hoping for answers soon as they relive news of the 17-year-old’s death every day since May 13.
“I understand that they really need someone to speak up within the community,” Hair said of BPD’s investigation into the shooting. “I’m afraid this is just going to be another one of those things that doesn’t get solved.”
Hair created a GoFundMe called “Justice for Jay” to help with her nephew’s funeral costs.
The Baltimore Police Department has recorded 125 homicides so far this year as of Tuesday — a 9% increase compared to the 115 homicides recorded over the same time period last year. There has also been a 9% increase in gun-related incidents year-over-year, with 364 recorded this year as of Tuesday compared to 329 at the same time last year. Robbery incidents have increased 28% year-over-year, and total crime has risen 9% since the same time period in 2021.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact Metro Crime Stoppers Of Maryland at 866-756-2578.