Sketch released of suspect who shot father out for ice cream

(ABC7)

November 27, 2009 11:07:20 PM PST
People in Hayward gathered Friday evening for a vigil to honor the victim of a senseless shooting that occurred earlier this week.

As family and a community mourn, police say they are getting a pretty good description of the killer. The man is wanted for killing Thomas Cunningham in front of his 13-year-old daughter. The Hayward father had just bought the two ice cream at a corner market.

Cunningham, 38, wasn't just any neighbor

"I don't know how else to say it other than he was just a damn good friend and a great neighbor and we all miss him," said Chuck Rogers, Cunningham's neighbor.

So when this Hayward man was fatally shot Tuesday night, while walking home after getting ice cream with his daughter, even police were stunned.

"This one has hits us all, on a personal level, from an organizational standpoint as well, but our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to his family," said Hayward Police Sgt. Steve Brown.

Neighbors say he was friendly, out-going and recently bought flowers for restaurant owner Ruby Foreman.

"Yeah he came in and purchased a product from us and also dropped me off flowers, two roses," said Foreman.

The violent act that took Cunningham's life, has spurred a local pastor to do something, starting with a candlelight vigil.

"The main thing is that we're coming together as a community to support each other in this moment and to say that this not be the end," said Pastor Willie Anderson from the New Bethel Community Church.

With Cunningham's killer still out there, the pastor wants the community to honor the 38-year-old father and stand up against the violence.

"If we don't change how we are addressing these issues, the we're going to see this continue to explode, which is what we're seeing unfortunately," said Anderson.

Hayward police released a sketch of the suspect and hope that anyone with information will call them. The suspect is a young, black male, 18 to his early 20s, 5'6 - 5'10", with a slim build wearing a dark colored hoodie with a white logo on the front.

There is a $25,000 reward offered in this case for information that leads to an arrest.


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