ALBANY, N.Y. -- Victory Christian Church is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the murder of Troy teen Eshane Walker.
The church announced Tuesday that the move is part of community outreach programs it is launching in the Lansingburgh area of Troy to "rally residents to help make a difference in their city."
Walker was found on the ground near 447 Second Avenue in grave condition with severe stab wounds around 11:10 p.m. July 18. He later died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy. A party with more than 50 people in attendance, most of whom were outside, was taking place in the vicinity when police arrived.
Victory will also offer a $1,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of those responsible for setting six fires in the city of Troy early Monday morning.
A total of about 30 firefighters battled six blazes of varying sizes starting at 3:35 a.m. Monday, Fire Chief Tom Garrett said. Officials were calling the blazes suspicious because gas and electricity had been turned off at the abandoned building and fires do not usually ignite on fences and in garages naturally.
Police spokesman Capt. Dan DeWolf provided a timeline and locations of the various fires:
* 3:35 a.m., 705 Third Ave. -- House fire, abandoned building
* 5 a.m., 654 First Ave.
* 5:08 a.m., 595 Second Ave., rear (three blocks from prior fire) -- Fence on fire
* 5:29 a.m., 529 Third Ave. (six blocks from prior fire)-- Garage fire
* 5:51 a.m., 812 Fifth Ave., rear (11 blocks from prior fire) -- Brush fire, van damaged
* 6:06 a.m., 677 Sixth Ave. (five blocks from prior fire, about three blocks from first morning blaze) -- Brush fire next to house.
Mayor Lou Rosamilia said his administration is working with both the city’s police and fire departments to ensure the safety of the city’s residents and businesses in the aftermath of the suspicious fires, along with a shooting Sunday in North Central and a fatal stabbing Friday night.
Meanwhile, Victory Christian Church will be mailing out contact cards throughout the Lansingburgh area that will have information about how to report crime. Church officials also plan to hold a large community event to recruit area residents to get involved in making the city a safe place to live.
In June, Victory Christian Church launched safe summer events in the cities of Cohoes and Albany which brought more than 2,000 residents in each city together.