A fundraiser was held Sunday at the Elk’s Lodge at 24th and Lake to help the family of 5-year-old Payton Benson, killed by a bullet fired during a drive-by shooting in her Omaha neighborhood on January 15th.
Members of the community surrounded the family with prayer while words of hope and change were shared by many. Payton's mother, Tabatha Manning, thanked the crowd and shared a message of how the family is turning this tragedy into something positive.
“Instead of using hatred to do it we are using love. We really want to help people. If you need to come off the streets and you are involved in stuff like this, we want to help you do that because then we help strengthen our own community by strengthening you," said Manning.
Payton's family has received daily outpourings from the community.
"Every email, every message I have gotten, I have read all of it, it is very overwhelming, but I appreciate all of it," said Manning.
The family even received a letter from inmates from the Tecumseh State Prison. Manning read it aloud at the Elk's Lodge. This letter making everyone realize it's hard to find a person not upset over Payton's death.
"I grew up in North Omaha, I have nephews Payton's age, and it could have been any of us," said Dominique Morgan, community member.
Police took 21-year-old Jacob Brown II into custody Friday. He is linked to the stolen SUV seen in the area of North 45th Street and Bedford Avenue at the time of the shooting. Brown was charged with receiving a stolen item, a felony. He is the sixth suspect arrested in connection to the investigation. No one has been charged with the girl's murder.