In this undated image, Jerome Gravely poses in a crouch. His hands meet and extend forward.
The photograph is wrapped around a glass candle, which Metro Police Sgt. Joshua Stark grasps on Thursday afternoon. It is also on posters at this Metro Police event designed to find new evidence in Gravely's unsolved homicide.
“What we’re asking from the public,” Stark says, looking down at the unlit candle and addressing a camera in front of him, “is that you give us a lead.”
They are looking for a tip that could help them solve the killing of Gravely, who was gunned down about 3 a.m. on July 13, 2015.
The Justice for Families event, which is organized by Metro’s Bolden Area Command, took place outside Liberty Baptist Church, 6501 West Lake Mead Blvd. The monthly occurrence, which is paired with a farmer’s market of sorts for needy Las Vegas residents, highlights Metro homicide investigations that have gone cold.
In this case, Lt. Ray Spencer said, Gravely, 38, was walking down D Street, near Lake Mead Boulevard, when a vehicle drove by and someone opened fire.
Gravely died 18 days later.
Spencer said detectives aren’t sure if he was targeted or randomly shot, but they are certain there are people out there who know what transpired. Investigators believe a silver or gray full-size SUV, which was seen squealing away, was involved.
“Anybody who knows anything about the murder,” Stark pleaded. “Please come forward.”
His comments were echoed by Spencer, who noted that some witnesses don’t realize that even the tiniest detail can be the “piece that puts the puzzle together.”
The plea for witnesses, or people who may have learned of details of the killing afterward, is also an appeal to the possible suspect to come clean.
It’s been about a year since this format of the Justice for Families rallies was incepted by staff at Metro’s Bolden Area Command. Hundreds of families that show up to pick up food may hear about the case and some may spread the word in their neighborhoods, Stark said.
Organizers first reach out to loved ones of the victims to receive their blessing to spotlight the unsolved crime. And sometimes they show up to the event. Other times they don’t, or decline police talk about the victims at all, Stark said after the ceremony. “We want to let them know that we still care, no matter how long it’s been.”
A few weeks ago, many of the same volunteers held similar posters with a different photo, as Metro highlighted the unrelated, unsolved slaying of Michael Lucas, who was shot eight years before Gravely — actually on the same street.
In that ceremony, participants tied yellow strings onto the branches of a young tree.
Months earlier, Javerian Stevenson’s mother cried, and she, her young granddaughter, and other family and attendees released balloons.
The victim, 22, was fatally shot in 2014.
Although the events haven’t led to any arrests, Stark said. “It doesn’t mean we should stop, because if it takes five years — but we solve one — it makes it all worth it.”
As a video to be broadcast on Metro’s social media outlets recorded Thursday, Stark lit the candle, then handed it to Lt. Spencer, who later passed it on to a pastor who led a prayer.
Candle wax melted and the candle was put on a table, where each volunteer, officer and clergy member also placed down the posters before they walked away their separate ways.
Anyone with information should contact Metro at 702-828-3521 or via email at [email protected] To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 or online at crimestoppersofnv.com.