By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times
Comedian, radio talk show host and Birmingham native Rickey Smiley is offering a $5,000 award for information about a shooting at Patton Park on Easter Sunday that claimed the life of a 32-year-old bystander and hospitalized five others including a 4-year-old.
“I am saddened today by not only that particular incident but all of the other crime-filled incidents that have people afraid to leave their homes and stop at the gas station or whatever,” said Smiley, outside of Birmingham City Hall on Monday standing next to Mayor Woodfin. “I want to work hand-in-hand with the mayor and Birmingham Police Department (BPD) and if anyone has any information concerning the death of this young lady, please contact Crime Stoppers (205-254-7777). I’m willing to put up $5,000 for any information leading to the arrest of the person or people involved in this young lady’s death.”
The 32-year-old woman has been identified as Areyelle M. Yarbrough who was an innocent bystander at the Park on Sunday.
The BPD responded to a shooting at Patton Park Sunday around 7 p.m. where there were reports of an altercation with a group of men that led to shots being fired.
According to authorities hundreds of people were gathered at the park. Five were injured in the shooting in ages 21, 17, 16, 15, and 4.
Smiley said he knew the victim, the daughter of Pastor Michael Yarbrough, of Shady Grove Baptist Church in the Oxmoor community. “This family will be affected by this forever and will never be able to get to their daughter back . . . When is it going to stop?”
Smiley said it is time for the community to stand up. “Everyone was out there at the park on Facebook LIVE, you know who did it, you have the videos, turn it in to the police department because if it was your family member, you would want somebody to help solve the murder.”
Woodfin also asked for the public’s help.
“I don’t understand why a 32-year-old, innocent, Black woman has to die. She was just minding her own business enjoying her Easter Sunday in the park fellowshipping with her friends and family… We are asking [anyone in the park] to turn over any footage from your cellphone . . . to assist BPD . . . we can’t solve this without the public’s help.”
No suspects are in custody and police are asking for help to identify the individuals involved.
Anyone with information is asked to call Birmingham police detectives at 205-254-1764 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.