Community and PD hope to solve Delray shooting

Posted at 7:34 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 19:34:02-05

Detectives continue to look for the person who killed Courtney McGriff in Delray Beach yesterday.

The crime scene tape outside McGriff's house is gone. Things on NW 14th Avenue almost look normal.

But Prentice Mobley  says nothing about the situation should be normal. Not for someone to be shot to death in their own own. Not for the community to remain silent when someone may know who pulled the trigger.

"This was wrong," Mobley says. "We don't want this guy or girl or whoever committed it to walk free."

Mobley is a lifelong Delray resident who has organized marches against violence the past two Januaries. He says he knew McGriff.

"It's just sad when it's black on black crime nobody says anything. I'm deeply hurt," explained another community leader, Prince Arafat, outside the crime scene Tuesday night.

Mobley is echoing those sentiments and going a step further.

"The no snitch rule, that needs to be cut out of our community," he says.

The unofficial rule means anyone who tells police tips about a crime will be punished by friends of the criminal.

Mobley says the entire city is part of the community. Just because McGriff lived in the predominantly black Atlantic Park Gardens neighborhood, doesn't mean people in Del-Ida Park accept it.

He says everyone in the community needs to hold each other accountable, and let one another know violence like this will not be tolerated.

"[Criminals] might think twice about doing things they feel they won't be able to get away with," Mobley explains.

Police haven't shared many details about the circumstances of McGriff's death.  Only that officers found him shot to death inside his home at 5:15 Tuesday.

A spokesperson says the community is talking with detectives, sharing information. But police still need that one detail to connect them to McGriff's shooter.

"Tips are like the puzzle pieces that detectives need to put together to solve the crime," police spokeswoman Dani Moschella explains.

She says the police department builds relationships with community leaders like Mobley and Arafat and has been rewarded in the past when the community comes forward with information to solve a crime.

"Nobody wants a killer among them," Moschella explains. "They know talking to detectives is the key to keeping those streets safe, to keeping their families safe."

Mobley says McGriff was a father. He ran a funeral escort service. Neighbors describe him as a master on the BBQ grill and a guy who was always tinkering with something.

He was killed two days before his 30th birthday.

If you have information, call Det. Oscar Leon at 561-243-7845 or report information anonymously to Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 1-800-458-TIPS (8477). You can be eligible for up $1,000 for a tip which leads to an arrest.