Payton Benson's Family Responding to Deadly Shooting

UPDATE (Thursday 2:00 P.M.)- Payton Benson's family held a press conference with Impact One Thursday afternoon to talk about the shooting that claimed the life of their loved one.

Benson's parents, Tabatha Manning and Marvin Benson were there as well as Payton's siblings. Councilman Ben Gray and his wife were also in attendance along with many others.

Manning thanked police for their efforts and those have supported her family. Manning asked the community to help forgive the shooter. She said she doesn't want any retaliation or anger. She called for an end to the violence.

"I want my daughter's memory to be love, not hate," Manning said.

"I don't want to mourn, I want to celebrate her life," Manning added.

Councilman Gray said he wants to see justice done, but he wants it to be legal justice.

"Put your guns down. I'd like to invite the people who did this to come forward," Manning added.

Manning said her daughter was happy, loved to smile and had a quiet voice. She was excited to begin school. Manning said telling her other children of Payton's death was the hardest thing she's ever had to do. Payton's 4-year-old brother witnessed the shooting.

The family said they are confident that this case will get solved.

A memorial fund has been set up for Payton Benson's family. You can donate with the Payton Benson Memorial Fund at any American National Bank.

A prayer walk will be held at 45th and Bedford Thursday night.

UPDATE (7:40 P.M.) - FOX 42 News has learned Omaha Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the shooting of 5-year-old girl Wednesday morning.

At a news conference Wednesday night, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said investigators are searching for a darker colored Jeep, possibly blue or black. In the meantime, the chief is encouraging whoever shot the 5-year-old to come forward. He also said that there are leads, the case is very solvable and that he will make the case high priority in an effort to solve it.

Mayor Jean Stothert also appeared at the news conference offering condolences to the family of Payton Benson.


OMAHA (KPTM) - A 5-year-old girl was shot and killed Wednesday morning.

Police responded to a shots fired call near 45th Street and Bedford Avenue at 9:44 a.m.

When investigators arrived, they found a female victim critically injured at the scene, according to Officer Michael Pecha with the Omaha Police Department. Councilman Ben Gray said Payton Benson was taken to Alegent Creighton Health Creighton University Medical Center. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Omaha City Councilman Ben Gray told FOX 42 News the little girl's father is his nephew and identified her as Payton Benson. He said she was on her way to school when she was shot. Gray said, currently the family would like privacy, but later may speak to the public.

According to a family member, a man was running from people trying to shoot him. When the man ran pass the home of Benson, shots were fired and a stray bullet hit her. The relative said he heard about 20 shots fired it what he called a drive-by shooting.

This case is under investigation. Anyone with information that can lead to arrest is advised to call Omaha Crime Stoppers at (402) 444-7867 or (402) 444-5652.