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$50,000 reward offered in star athlete’s murder

September 27, 2018

The state is offering a reward up to $50,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the April 2015 drive-by shooting death of New Haven teenager Jericho Scott.

The 16-year-old victim was a star baseball pitcher.

He was seated in a vehicle parked on Exchange Street near his home in New Haven when he was fatally shot shortly after midnight on April 19, 2015.

Two other individuals standing near the vehicle were wounded in the same incident.

Investigators believe Jericho was hit with gunfire from a small or midsize silver or gray four-door sedan.

The shootings are believed to have been in retaliation for an alleged robbery that occurred days before, but police do not believe Jericho was the intended target.

The case is being investigated by the New Haven Police Department.

Scott was a 9-year-old member of the Will Power Fitness baeball team in 2009 when league officials deemed his pitch too hard to allow him to play the position.

When his coach, Wilfred Vidro, continued to allow him to pitch, rather than play him in another position, an opposing team walked off the field and forfeited the game rather than allow its members to go up against Scott. The batters were afraid to face his pitches, according to reports published in the Register at the time.

Virdro eventually resigned from the league and told reporters that his team had been expelled. At the time, Scott’s team had an 8-0 record. There were accusations that Scott was targeted because the president of the league at the time wanted the boy to play on the team sponsored by a business he owned that was in second place and couldn’t move to first place because of Scott’s performances.

The story broke nationwide as Scott’s name and story made its way across the country.

Days after Scott’s death, hundreds packed Ebenezer Chapel to say goodbye to the Wilbur Cross High School student whose athletic talent brought him recognition at a young age.

Several people wore buttons and T-shirts with Jericho’s picture on them, along with messages like “Rest Easy Jericho” and “Only the Good Die Young.” There were so many people in attendance that some had to watch video of the service downstairs.

Some of the mourners’ T-shirts had a quote attributed to Jericho, who wanted to continue doing what he excelled at: “Because God gave us gifts and we should be able to use them.”

His father, Leroy Scott, said during the service that his son touched many people, and the tragedy has brought a whole community together. He thanked everyone for their support and love.

“I love my son — I will always love my son,” he said. “I have one message for our young people in the community — justice will be served, but we have to let justice work.”

Anyone with information about the homicide of Jericho Scott should contact the New Haven Police Investigative Services Division at (203) 946-6304 or the anonymous tip line at (203) 946-6296. Tips also can be submitted by text to 274637 or by email at ecic@newhavenct.gov

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