“I just wish someone would speak up,” a tearful Ruthie Sumlin said of her son Tyrone’s murder. “If you just know a little something, just say something…His children, they are suffering. I cry for my child. I miss my child. I love him.”
Tyrone Sumlin was a 35-year-old father of five when he was fatally shot in his Quarles St. driveway between the hours of 8 and 10 p.m. on Sept. 3, 2017. The murder weapon has never been found and his killer has yet to be identified, but police say there have been new developments in the case – including the identification of a person of interest.
“During the course of the investigation, we’ve really turned it up in the past couple of months,” Minden PD Det. Shane Griffith said. “Re-interviewed some of the people that were initially interviewed, come across some new information that has led to a person of interest and ruled out some other suspects.”
Police are not yet releasing the name of the person of interest, but they are hoping a new $10,000 reward will flush out information that helps lead to an arrest.
Griffith says they have also conducted polygraph examinations through Louisiana State Police, which has helped turn up new evidence in the case. That evidence is being analyzed and results are expected “any day.”
The lead detective on the case says it was the first he was assigned to when he came to investigations from patrol two years ago. But Shane Griffith says he also has a personal connection to the case, because he coached Tyrone and his brother in baseball for many years.
“I want Ms. Ruthie to know that this case is not going to be forgottten about.”
Griffith also said Police Chief Steve Crooper wants the case solved before he leaves office in retirement later this year.
“But most importantly, we want to get some closure for the family.”
“I pray that one day, we’ll get an answers, because it’s almost five years. So, somebody please speak up,” Ruthie Sumlin pleaded. “I just hope and pray that someone speak up, because Tyrone don’t have a voice now.”
“And to everyone that a loved one that been lost by gun violence, I pray for y’all. I pray for us, that one day, we’re going to all have justice.”
Until now, the reward offered for information through the city’s Crime Stopper’s program maxed out at $2,000. Minden police say the $10,000 reward now being offered is from a local business owner who wishes to remain anonymous but reportedly felt moved to do something to help move the case toward an arrest.
Whoever it is, even now, Ruthie Sumlin has a message for Tyrone’s killer or killers.
“Like I say, whoever did this to my son, and it’s hard for me, that I can forgive y’all. I can forgive y’all. That’s the hardest thing for me to say, but y’all gonna have to forgive y’all selves.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Minden Police Det. Shane Griffith at (318) 505-8443 or Minden PD at 318-377-1212.