You have to examine everything, though. Are they really looking for a.ssistance or did some journalist at the Los Angeles Times see an opportunity for a story? Plus this is AHH quoting someone else and creating their own title. They didn't seem like they were pleading.
Of course if a journalist come to you and ask questions you're not about to say, "No, we are not asking for the public to a.ssist us. We are going to deal with this ourselves." There are a lot of details missing from the story, he was shot, but was he unconscious?
I'm sure if his people don't already know who did it they're about to do some investigating on their own. But now they don't know who to blame if they don't know.