When police could not determine who was best qualified to receive the $10,000 reward Rudy A. Ciccotti had promised to give anyone with information that would lead to the arrest of the shooter involved in Kathina Thomas' death, Ciccotti took the matter into his own hands.
10-year-old Thomas was killed late May when a stray bullet struck her back, wounding her fatally, as she played on a First Street doorstep, in Albany. Days after the young girl was murdered, Ciccotti made an oath to donate $10,000 as a reward to anyone who could lead the Albany Police Department to the shooter.
Less than a month later, the alleged shooter, Jermaine Timmons, was apprehended by Albany police. But, according to Ciccotti, police were lead to the arrest on their own information. So, Ciccotti was left with the money that was not used as a reward.
But today(Tuesday, July 1), Ciccotti found a new use for the money when he handed a check for $5,000 to Thomas' mother, Shondell McAllister. \I had access to the reward money and what I wanted to do was to do something for Kathina's mom, said Ciccotti.
A man who has never had children of his own, Ciccotti said he has been following Thomas' story because he sympathizes with the grief the child's family is going through. He even rushed to Thomas' wake when he saw announcement of it on the television.
"When I saw that that young lady laying out in her casket- it was so sad. She was so beautiful, in a little dress, a little doll in each arm. That's what it's all about," he said.
Ciccotti delivered the check to McAllister at the Rudy Ciccotti Center on 30 Aviation Road, Colonie, and said that the woman was overly greatful. "She doesn't speak much English, but she was hugging me to death," he said. Ciccotti said that also, the same day, he delivered a $1,500 check to a pastor involved with promoting a buy back gun policy. "The rest of it will be distributed to charity. I don't know which one yet, but something for the kids," said Ciccotti.
For more on this story, check back at www.spotlightnews.com, or read the July 9 print edition of the Colonie Spotlight.""