Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Texas gun range offers birthday parties for young children

How young should children be before going to a gun range to shoot guns? This Texas gun range is offering fun for the family. Children as young as 8 can shoot guns while celebrating with their young friends. From the article:
"The age limit is eight years old. You have to be tall enough to get above the shooting table,” Prince told WFAA. “They're not gonna be left unattended. Parents are gonna be one-on-one, or if there's not enough parents, we'll have range safety officers here to show them how to do it safely."
The "Range Rules" on Eagle's website include the provision, "Young shooters (under 18 years of age) are ONLY allowed to shoot on the range with their parent or guardian; one young shooter per adult. No children are allowed on the range nor are they to be left unaccompanied in the showroom while adults shoot."
Yahoo News noted that birthday parties aren't the only gun-themed events aimed at children. Last Christmas, toddlers in Arizona were allowed to pose for pictures with Santa Clause while holding high-powered firearms.
If you read this blog, you know how many incidents of children finding loaded guns and shooting either themselves or someone else are reported. Kids and guns just do not go together. For adults to encourage young children to shoot guns does not make sense. Adults are responsible for allowing guns to fall into the hands of young children. Learning to shoot a gun does not necessarily equate with safe use of a gun. Even adults are not always safe with their guns. This we know from the many accidental gun discharges of law abiding adults. So Happy Birthday everyone. Be safe.

Two Texas teen-aged lesbian girls found dead

Last week, 2 teen aged girls were found dead in Texas. From the article:
A witness has come forward in the murder of a teenage lesbian and the shooting of her girlfriend in Texas, authorities said. 
Mollie Olgin, 19, and 18-year-old Mary Kristene Chapa were both shot in the head in a park in Portland and Olgin was pronounced dead at the scene, while Chapa is still in hospital.
And now a witness to the shooting has told police that the suspect is a white male in his 20s with dark hair, weighing 140 pounds and standing five-foot-eight-inches tall. (...) 
Portland Police Chief Randy Wright told msnbc.com that authorities had not yet been able to establish whether the girl’s sexuality ‘had anything to do with the attack'.
'It appears as if this was not just a random attack but that’s something that we really have to develop over time,’ he added.
Investigators discovered a bullet casing from a gun next to the victims but have not yet found a weapon.
A resident living near the park reported hearing two loud bangs before midnight on Friday but thought they were from firecrackers, according to the Corpus Christi Caller Times. 

Father of 3 year old Maryland boy shot with BB gun sentenced

Even BB guns can be dangerous. The father of this Maryland 3 year old was sentenced for shooting his son last year in the face with a BB gun.
Twenty-four-year-old John Wilfong Jr. of Hagerstown pleaded guilty second-degree child abuse Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court.   
Wilfong's children were visiting him last year when he called his estranged wife to say their son had shot himself in the face. She reported the incident to Child Protective Services and the boy was found to have two BBs embedded in his face and head.   
The boy told investigators that his father had shot him.  
The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown reports that Wilfong said in court that he was bipolar and needed medication for his anger.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Two teens arrested in shooting death of 5 year old Minneapolis boy

The other day, we wrote about the shooting death of a 5 year old Minneapolis boy. Nizzel George was sleeping in his house when a bullet came through the walls of the house and shot him to death. Now 2 teen aged boys have been arrested in the death. From the article:
Two teenage boys have been arrested in the shooting death of 5-year-old Nizzel George, the north Minneapolis boy who was fatally struck by a bullet fired from outside into his home, police said Friday.
One of the suspects was booked on suspicion of murder and the other for weapons possession.
The boy was shot once in the back Tuesday morning at the home in the 4500 block of Bryant Avenue N.
Nizzel George, age 5
The arrests were made Thursday evening in Brooklyn Center, according to police spokesman Sgt. Steve McCarty. Charges could come as soon as Monday.           
Every gun in the hands of a child or teen must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Two Chicago area teens shot in separate shootings

Chicago has more than its' share of shootings. Two teens, one 13, one 17,  were shot in separate incidents on the same night:
In the first shooting a 13-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man were shot as they were standing in the lot of a gas station on the 3700 block of West Roosevelt Road in the Lawndale neighborhood, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro.
The shooting happened at 11:20 p.m. after two other people approached the victims and began firing, Alfaro said.
The 13-year-old sustained a gunshot wound to his abdomen and right arm. The second victim was shot in the upper right thigh, Alfaro said.
In a separate shooting, at 12:10 a.m. a 17-year-old male was standing on the sidewalk on the 100 block of North Laporte Avenue in the Austin neighborhood when a light-colored sedan drove by and fired shots at the teen, said Alfaro.
The teen sustained a gunshot wound to his chest and to his arm.

17 year old Pennsylvania boy shoots dog

Shooting pets is not something we write about often. But this Pittsburgh area boy shot a dog outside of his home:
Witnesses said a young man walked up and shot Wolfie while the dog was in his front yard at a home on Marshall Avenue on Saturday.
"I heard a dog 'yelp,' and I immediately knew someone had shot a dog," neighbor Frank Wells said. "It's awful. It's animal cruelty. Anyone who would shoot a dog -- I suppose for spite -- I mean, it's a friendly dog."
"He was bleeding from his chest. There's a fair amount of blood. You can track it all the way back here, so he lost a fair amount of blood," he said.
Police found a 9 mm shell casing at the scene and have since charged a 17-year-old boy with firearms violations and cruelty to animals.
Police said the boy, who has not been publicly identified because he’s a juvenile, lives at a halfway house and is allowed to leave on the weekends.
What was a boy who lives in a halfway house doing with a gun? Every gun in the hands of a child or teen must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Chicago 15 year old shot while walking on a sidewalk

What's the problem with just walking on a city street? This blog has reported on many of these kinds of shootings of late. This one is a 15 year old Chicago boy who was shot in the ankle by someone driving by:
A 15-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to the ankle and was taken in good condition to University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital while a 22-year-old was shot in the side was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, said Langford.
The two were walking in the area when a man or boy came up and shot at them several times, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Darryl Baety. The man was in serious condition at Christ Medical Center, police said.
Earlier this afternoon, a 21-year-old man was shot in the back about 12:40 p.m. in the 6600 block of South Artesian Avenue and was being treated in serious condition at Holy Cross Hospital, Baety said.

10 year old California boy shot while walking with his mother

A 10 year old California boy was shot while taking a walk with his mother. From the article:
Police Capt. Mark Gagan said a teen riding his bicycle near the intersection of South 15th Street and Maine Avenue at 2:30 p.m. shot at the driver of a passing car, striking the boy, who was walking in the neighborhood with his mother and other children.
No other injuries were reported in the shooting.
No one has been arrested, police said.
The boy was taken to a nearby hospital and was in critical condition Thursday night. He is expected to survive.
Every gun in the hands of a child or teen must first pass through the hands of an adult.

14 year old girl shot in Michigan

A 14 year old girl was shot in the lower peninsula of Michigan. From the article:
The girl was shot Sunday morning in Cleon Township, southwest of Traverse City. She was in stable condition at a Grand Rapids hospital.
A manhunt is still on-going for the shooter.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

3-year old Virginia girl wounded by neighbor cleaning his gun

Keneja Long, age 3, with mother
3-year old Keneja Long was in her apartment when a shot rang out.  She was shot in the arm by a bullet that came from the apartment above.  Her neighbor, who is in the Navy, was cleaning his gun when it discharged.

No charges were filed, and there is no mention of the gun being removed.

From an article:
A resident of a nearby complex, Stephan Scott, told 13News a man in the upstairs apartment was cleaning his gun when he accidentally fired it, hitting the child in the apartment below.
"This is horrible, people need to be more careful with guns," said Scott, who is a friend of the girl's father.
Wednesday, 13News talked with the child's parents.  Father Eric Long confirms that story.  He said his neighbor is in the Navy and was cleaning his gun. 
Keneja's mother, Lekesha, says "The gun shouldn't have been loaded.  Thank God that bullet didn't hit my daughter in the head."
Police said no charges have been filed, but the incident will be reviewed by the Commonwealth's Attorney.
Keneja is doing fine, her parents say.
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7-year old girl shot and killed in Chicago

Heaven Sutton, age 7, with mother
A 7-year old girl was with a group of people when two gunmen opened fire, shooting her in the back and killing her, and wounding a 19-year old in the ankle.


From an article:
A young girl was shot and killed late Wednesday night in the North Austin neighborhood on the city's West Side.
The 7-year-old girl was shot just before 10:45 p.m. in the 1700 block of North Luna Avenue, according to Chicago police.
Two men approached a group of people standing on the sidewalk and one of the men pulled a handgun and opened fire, said Officer Hector Alfaro, a police spokesman.
The girl, who was shot in the chest, was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood where she was pronounced dead, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
Officials there were withholding the child's name.
The girl is 20th person under the age of 17 to be fatally shot in the city this year, according to a Tribune crime analysis.
A 19-year-old man was also taken to Loyola for a non-serious gunshot wound to the ankle, Alfaro said.
Authorities suspect that the girl was simply an innocent bystander rather than the intended target, but Area North detectives were still in the early stages of their investigation, a police source said.
Early reports indicated that a known gang member was seen fleeing the scene with a pistol in hand.
UPDATE (6/28/12):  The victim's name was Heaven Sutton.  She was selling candy at a stand at the time of the shooting.  From an article:
The girl’s mother, Ashake Banks, said she threw herself on the ground while her daughter ran into her family’s home. Moments later, Banks said she found her daughter unconscious inside a hallway.....Banks said the soon-to-be second grader told her on several occasions she wanted her family to move out of the violent neighborhood. She said her daughter was a sweet, smart girl.
Heaven is the 20th person under the age of 17 to be killed by gunfire in Chicago this year, reported the Chicago Tribune. 
Banks said she opened a candy stand on her block two weeks ago to keep kids close to their homes and away from gang crossfire. 
“I opened up the candy store for the kids so they wouldn't have to be pulled back and forth on the block because there’s been so much shooting,” Banks told the Chicago Tribune. “I figured they (gang members) know us, they wouldn’t come to the neighborhood and start shooting, but they really didn’t even care.” 
Banks said she believes the shooting is gang-related and Heaven was an unintended target. 
A 19-year-old man also was shot in the ankle and is listed in good condition at Loyola University Medical Center, NBCChicago.com reported.
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4-year old New York girl witnesses murder/suicide of mother by father

Kylie Ann Turczyn, 23, and Thomas Anderson, 27, had just broken up.  Distraught about the breakup, Anderson entered his ex-girlfriend's Deerfield, New York home with a rifle and shot her multiple times, killing her.  He then turned the gun on himself and killed himself.


Their 4-year old daughter witnessed the entire event.  Luckily, she was uninjured.


From an article:

State police say when troopers arrived at Kylie Ann Turczyn's home outside Utica Friday afternoon, they found the 23-year-old woman suffering from multiple gunshot wound. She was pronounced dead soon after at a Utica hospital.

Troopers say her ex-boyfriend and the father of her daughter, 27-year-old Thomas Anderson of Utica, had entered the home with a rifle and shot her several times before using the gun to commit suicide.

Their daughter wasn't injured. Turczyn's sister and niece were able to get out of the house in the town of Deerfield and weren't injured.

Police say Anderson was distraught over the couple's recent break-up.
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Two kids, ages 7 and 8, injured along with father in Indiana

Two children and their father were walking to a pool, in Washington, Indiana, when a gunman opened fire on them, injuring all three.

From an article:
Police say the shooting was reported around noon Monday in the 1900 block of Savannah Street. The victims were on their way to a swimming pool.
Police spokesman Anthony Clay says an 8-year-old boy who was shot in the ankle has suffered non-life-threatening injuries, but a 7-year-old child shot in the back is in critical condition.
The adult victim was shot in the leg. 
The circumstances of the shooting are under investigation.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

14-year old Michigan girl nearly shot to death by family friend

A 14-year old girl in Copemish, Michigan, was shot multiple times by a man, Joseph Hard, an acquaintance of the girl's family. 

She is expected to recover, though the wounds were life-threatening.

From an article:
Hard is an acquaintance of the girl's family, but authorities aren't sure why he came to the residence with a gun, Lt. Kip Belcher said. The shooting did not appear accidental.

"We're looking into that to see what triggered this," he said. "It's a horrific event, and someone would have to be in a highly agitated state to engage in this kind of behavior."

Belcher wasn't sure, but he believed the girl was the only one home at the time of the incident.

A state police helicopter spotted Hard's vehicle Monday near Chief and Potter roads, Belcher said. He tried to drive his vehicle near a state police perimeter there, and troopers shot at him.

He eventually was arrested. No one was injured during the arrest.
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3-year old Maryland boy shot in head and face by father with BB gun

A 3-year old boy in Hagerstown, Maryland, was shot twice in the head with a BB gun by his father.

He will be serving a year in jail.

From an article:
Wilfong’s children were visiting him on Dec. 23, 2011, when he called his estranged wife and told her their son had shot himself in the face with a BB gun, Wilson told Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr.

His wife told Wilfong to take the child to the hospital, but he did not, and she reported the incident to Child Protective Services, Wilson said, reading from the statement of facts.

The boy was later found to have one BB embedded in his chin and another behind his ear, Wilson said. There was also a welt that indicated the boy might have been hit a third time, he said.

The boy told investigators with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Child Advocacy Center that his father had shot him, he said.
The father also has a record for marijuana offenses and reckless endangerment for throwing objects at moving vehicles.

Man shoots at car with his 2-year old child in it

A man and a woman had an argument, and the woman took their 2-year old child into a car and sped off, in Oceana County, Michigan.  That's when the man, Mario Alberto Cosme-Hernandez, opened fire on the car, hitting it several times.  Luckily, no one was injured.

From an article:
According to police reports, Cosme-Hernandez damaged the woman's vehicle firing at it as she drove away frantically after a heated argument.
The two had been arguing outside a home. At some point the woman got into a vehicle with the 2-year-old child and sped off, police said.
That's when the man allegedly fired the gun and shot the vehicle twice in the trunk area and once in the passenger’s side door area, police said.
No one was injured in the incident.
Cosme-Hernandez has now been ruled guilty and sentenced to prison time.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

3-year old Missouri boy finds father's new gun and shoots himself to death

Joshua "J.J." Turner, Jr., age 3
A 3-year old boy, Joshua "J.J." Turner, Jr., found his father's new gun stuffed in the cushions of the family sofa, in Independence, Missouri.  The gun was loaded. The parents heard a pop and returned to find him dead from a gunshot wound.

From a post at the Ohh Shoot blog, with links to news footage of the parents:
J.J.'s father said he had just purchased the handgun but didn't have a holster to store it in so he stuffed the loaded, unlocked gun into the couch as he sat with his family watching a movie. Both he and his wife had left the room when they heard a pop and returned to find that J.J. had found the gun and shot himself. J.J. died at the scene.
The parents say they have other guns in the house, that J.J. was used to seeing guns and had played with water pistols so knew where the trigger was. They say they have the guns in the house for protection and the father told the reporter he always has one gun "loaded, ready to use at any given moment."
Dawn, J.J.'s mother, says she doesn't want any guns in her house ever again. She says she doesn't want J.J.'s brother to suffer the same fate.
(a related article)

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

5 year old Minneapolis boy shot while sleeping

Ninzel Banks, age 5
In the second time in 6 months, a young child was shot to death in his home. This time it's a 5 year old boy who was sleeping in his Minneapolis home. He died from a bullet meant for someone else in the home. From the article:
A bullet went through the front of a north Minneapolis home Tuesday morning and fatally struck a sleeping 5-year-old boy in his back.
The 10 or so shots from outside the home were fired shortly after 8:35 a.m. in the 4500 block of Bryant Avenue N., police said. Police Chief Tim Dolan said there was one shooter who ran away afterwards.
The boy, Ninzel Banks, was asleep on a couch when he was shot, said Robert Tolliver, who's staying at the home and is an uncle of the boy's mother.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon with Dolan and other city officials, Mayor R.T. Rybak said the home was the shooter's "intended target."
Dolan said police believe the shooting stems from an "ongoing dispute between the likely suspect and people in that household."

From a related article:
[Nizzel's mother Christina] Banks said Nizzel was a smart boy who was about to enter first grade. He loved to swim and ride his bike.
The boy had stayed overnight at his grandmother's house because he was to go swimming with his uncles Tuesday, relatives said. One of the uncles, Robert Tolliver, said he rose at 8 a.m. to make breakfast and heard what sounded like fireworks.
Tolliver said Nizzel and his grandmother came running from a room at the front of the house. Nizzel was hollering "Oh, Oh!" and then laid down on a couch and began crying.
Tolliver said he saw Nizzel was bleeding and it looked like he was shot in the back.
Seven bullet holes could be seen in the side of the house hours after the shooting. Inside, family members pointed out at least four holes where they said police had dug out bullets.
Police said the house was the intended target of the shooting around 8:30 a.m. "We know we have an ongoing dispute. We do not want to see more shootings," said Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan, joining the mayor in pleading for peace.
Dolan would not discuss the nature of the dispute, but said authorities are making progress in the case.
Investigators think one person on foot fired about 10 shots at the house. At least one bullet went through a wall and struck the boy, killing him.
"It's extremely tragic when you have these young, innocent kids who are killed as a result of poor choices that are made by older kids and adults that are around them," Minneapolis police Inspector Mike Martin said.
Several people were inside the house, including other children, at the time of the shooting.

 There is something really wrong when ten shots ring out in a neighborhood and one of them finds a five year old child. Children should be able to sleep at home without bullets ending their lives..

2-year old Virginia child endangered by drunk father who accidentally shoots himself

A Suffolk, Virginia man was target shooting at his home, while intoxicated.  He got into an argument with his estranged wife, and when the wife took their 2-year old into a car to leave, the man tried to grab the child while holstering his weapon.  He unintentionally fired the gun, hitting himself in the leg.

From an article:
Debbie George with the City of Suffolk told WAVY.com the incident occurred Saturday evening when Robert Foote was target shooting. Sometime during the target shooting, Foote got into an argument with his estranged wife.
When the woman began to leave in a vehicle, George said Foote tried to grab a two-year-old through the window and was also trying to put his gun in his holster at the same time.
The gun then reportedly went off and Foote shot himself in the leg, George said.
Foote was arrested and charged with child endangerment, abuse and neglect of children, reckless handling of a firearm and violation of provisions of a protective order.
George said it’s believed Foote was under the influence of alcohol.
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Monday, June 25, 2012

5-year old girl gets hold of gun and shoots herself to death in South Carolina

Sha'Diamond Graham, age 5
A 5-year old girl, Sha'Diamond Graham, was visiting the home of a friend when they found a loaded, unsecured gun.  One of them discharged the gun, and Sha'Diamond was shot and killed.

From an article:
A 5-year-old Hartsville girl died Sunday night after what appears to be an accidental shooting, according to a press release from the Darlington County Sheriff's Office.

Sha'Diamond Graham died when the gun she was said to have been playing with at a friend's house, fired, according to Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee.
Details are limited, according to the DCSO release, but it appears to be an accidental shooting.
Darlington County investigators, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and South Carolina Department of Social Services are investigating the shooting death at happened about 7 p.m.
Officials said children were playing in the house (700 block of Mcfarland Street in Hartsville) and found the gun. The gun went off and the 5-year-old was shot. She was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead by Hardee.
From a related article:
Graham's oldest sister, Cameka, says her sister was an upbeat child who had a knack for cheering people up.
"If you were going through something, she felt like she could feel it," Cameka Graham said. "She would tell you 'it'll be okay" or 'it'll be alright'."
....
[Sheriff's Captain] Locklair says this incident underscores the need for gun safety, especially considering the high availability of inexpensive or free gun locks.
To obtain a free gun safety lock for a firearm in your area, click on the link below:
http://www.projectchildsafe.org/safetyKits/

Always ASK about guns where your children play.

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

UPDATE (7/11/12):  A man, Clinton McPhail, has been charged in Sha'Diamond's death.

14-year old Wichita boy shoots self in leg

A 14-year old boy in Wichita, Kansas, got hold of his family's unsecured, loaded gun while his parents were out and unintentionally shot himself in the leg.

From an article:
A 14-year-old Wichita boy accidentally shot himself in the leg Monday.  It happened just before five o'clock in the 2500 block of East 26th street North.
Police say the teen was playing with a gun while his mother was at work.  It went off and struck him in the leg.  He went to the hospital but is expected to be okay.
Wichita police say this serves as a reminder to talk to your kids about gun safety.  Police say if a child finds a gun, don't touch it.  They say either find an adult or call 911.  Police say while kids are curious, even picking a gun up can cause it to go off.  Police also recommend parents keep guns locked or in a safe.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

8-year old boy brings uncle's gun to school in California

A second-grade boy brought a gun to school in his backpack and showed it to friends, in Cathedral City, Calilfornia.  The gun belonged to his uncle, who was charged with child-endangerment and who also had another gun with the serial number removed.

From an article and news video:

On Thursday, school officials sent home a letter with children telling parents a second grade student had an unloaded gun in his backpack. 
A Palm Springs Unified School District security officials tells KMIR6 that guns and bullets and kids is a recipe for disaster. Offices say parents need to help to lock up the guns, make sure they're not available to the kids, and lock up the ammunition. 
Police arrested the boy's uncle, 24-year-old Ricardo Olivera, for child endangerment. Police say Olivera faces other charges as well for another gun they found in the home with the serial numbers removed. 
School officials were pleading with adults to make sure to lock up weapons, saying if a child hurts himself or somebody else with those weapons, whoever the owner of those weapons are, charges will be filed against them

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

13-year old boy killed and two boys, 14 and 15, wounded in another weekend of violence in Chicago

A 13-year old boy was shot and killed when violence erupted at a party in Chicago.  Two other boys, 14 and 15, were shot and wounded while playing basketball.

This was part of another weekend of violence in Chicago.

There was also a gun buy-back program which netted 5,500 weapons until they ran out of gift cards.

From an article:
A 13-year-old boy was one of two people killed, and 13 other people were wounded, in shootings in the city overnight that stretched from Montrose Avenue south to 97th Street, authorities said. 
Two other boys, 14 and 15, were shot and wounded while playing basketball on the South Side and a man was shot after a funeral party, also on the South Side, police said. The spree of shootings followed a violent night Friday through Saturday morning when a 14-year-old boy was killed and 13 other people were wounded. 
On Saturday, Chicago police said they collected more than 5,500 weapons — ranging from assault weapons to BB guns and replicas -- during an annual gun buy-back program. So many guns were turned in, police say they ran out of gift cards to hand out. 
In the shootings overnight,Tyquan Tyler, 13,  was at a party with his sister, 19, in the 6200 block of South Rhodes Avenue when a fight broke out about 1:20 a.m., police said. The two ran from the fight but someone pulled a gun and fire, hitting the boy, police said. 
The boy collapsed on a sidewalk, where paramedics found him, officials said. He was pronounced dead at 3 a.m. Police say neither he nor his sister belonged to a gang.
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14-year old boy shot and killed in Chicago

Antonio Davis, age 14
A 14-year old boy, Antonio Davis, was shot multiple times and killed in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago.

From an article:

The boy was walking with at least one other person when a grey van pulled up and a passenger, a man wearing a dark-colored hoodie, exited with a gun, said police News Affairs Officer Robert Perez.
He opened fire, striking the boy. As he lay on the ground, the shooter kept firing. “He shot him while the victim was down several times,’’ Perez said. The shooter then got back into the van, which was driven by another man about the same age – between the ages of 20 and 25.
Davis' family was pleading for the public's help to apprehend the gunman.
"He was a loving kid, all he liked was basketball. He wanted to go to school to play basketball," the boy's aunt Latrice Strong told WGN-TV.
"We need some justice, we've got to stop this killing."
No one is in custody and a motive for the attack has not been established, Perez said.
No one else was hurt.


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Article: Gun Culture May Contribute to Suicide Rate in Rural America

From an article in The Atlantic:

Gun Culture May Contribute to Suicide Rate in Rural America


Excerpt from the article:

According to a recently published survey of Midwestern mental health clinicians, one of the challenges rural therapists face is telling parents of troubled youths to lock up their guns. The Midwestern counselors in the survey "agreed that nearly everyone owned and used guns," and said that in a lot of their clients' homes, guns were so commonplace that they became "part of the furniture." 
Parents in these areas often need to be reminded that guns are involved in half of all youth suicides, and that having them in the home makes it easier for young people to end their lives.

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17-year old boy injured in Livermore, California in gang shooting

A 17-year old boy and a 20-year old man were injured in a gang-related shooting in Livermore, California.

From an article:

Officers arrived and discovered a Livermore man -- who had been beaten in his face and shot in his torso -- in front of a business in the 1500 block of Olivina Avenue, Goard said. 
Officers also found a 17-year-old male who had been shot in the leg, police said. 
Witnesses told police that three men beat and shot the adult victim, then shot the Livermore teen in the leg. 
Both victims were transported to a hospital. The adult victim underwent emergency surgery and is in critical condition, police said. The teenage boy was treated for injuries not considered life-threatening and was released. 
Investigators believe the shooting was gang-related, Goard said. 
Police did not provide a detailed description of the suspects, describing them as three Latino men, about 20 years old and wearing dark clothing. No arrests have been made.

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17-year old girl shot dead on her porch, another wounded, in St. Louis

Two girls were on the porch of a home in St. Louis, Missouri, when a car with four people drove up and opened fire.  One girl, age 17, died from her wound, the other is injured.

From an article:

Police in the St. Louis suburb of University City are searching for the gunmen who shot and killed a teenage girl as she was sitting on her front porch. 
Another teen was wounded in the drive-by shooting Thursday night. The girl, believed to be 17, was pronounced dead at the scene. 
Her name has not been released. 
The condition of the injured girl was not released. Police say the girls apparently did not know the shooters. 
Witnesses told police that four men in a compact car drove by and one of them opened fire on the house. The motive is not known.

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16-year old Philly boy shot and injured while in car

A 16-year old boy was shot in Philadelphia, while in a car, and is expected to survive.

From a short article:
Police are investigating a shooting that left a 16-year-old boy wounded in the Kensington section of Philadelphia early Saturday morning.
Investigators say that the boy, whose name has not been released, was shot in a car in the 2000 block of Clementine Street at around 6:30 a.m. He was taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive.
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12-year old Pennsylvania girl shot in hip by stray bullet

Tahtiana Diggs, age 12
12-year old Tahtiana Diggs was getting into a vehicle when a fight erupted on the street not far away.  The two men pulled out guns and started firing at one another.  One of those bullets hit Tahtiana in the hip.

Two suspects are in custody.

From an article:
Police say 12-year-old Tahtiana Diggs was struck by a stray bullet at around 2:30 p.m. following a heated argument between the two men concerning drugs on the block.
"An idiot takes out a gun, starts firing. A child getting into a car gets hit in the hip," Chief Smythe said.
Armed with assault rifles, police stormed the row home where the suspects were believed to be in, but the house was empty.
It appeared the occupants fled in such a hurry that they left the TV on and food cooking on the stove.
Two pit bull dogs were removed from the home by animal control for safe keeping.
Police say the incident began when one neighbor severely beat up another neighbor. A friend of the man who was attacked then ran home and came back with a gun and started firing.
Police say the 12-year-old was struck as she was getting into a minivan to go to a holiday barbecue with her grandfather.
"Society today is going to hell right quick in a [handbasket]," Leslie Baker, the victim's grandfather, said.
Baker says all he remembers is his granddaughter screaming after being struck.
"She was crying because she felt the sting of the bullet. So when they fired the second shot, I looked up to see what was going on, I told her to get on the ground," Baker said.
Tahtiana was taken to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where she underwent surgery.
Action News is told the 12-year-old will have to wear a colostomy bag for 6 to 8 weeks.
Baker says his grandchildren had moved from Philadelphia to escape this kind of violence.
"They came out here not to be in this environment from Philadelphia, but the environment is everywhere," Baker said.
Bullets don't know when to stop.

14-year old Arizona boy shoots intruder

In a very rare instance where a child has a defensive shooting, 14-year old boy in Laveen, Arizona was home with his three younger siblings when a man with a rifle invaded his home.  Having seen a strange woman in the yard beforehand, the boy had armed himself with a handgun and shot the intruder, then the children fled and got help.

From an article:
The boy was home with his three siblings, ranging in age from 8 to 12, when he saw a woman they did not recognize at the front of the house around 4:30 p.m. She began pounding on the door, said James Holmes, a Phoenix police spokesman.
The boy went upstairs and got a handgun, police said. A man with a rifle had forced his way into the home. He aimed the gun at the boy, and the boy shot him, police said.
The boy and his three siblings left the house and went to a neighbor's house, where the boy called police and his father, Holmes said.
"He took an action that no police officer, certainly no one in our community, wants a 14-year-old to have to take," Holmes said. "And yet he's safe, his siblings are safe, and so now we have to figure out why this happened and why these people were there."
Police were unsure whether the man and woman were the only two involved. There may have been other accomplices, police said.
The man was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in critical condition, according to Jonathan Jacobs, a Phoenix Fire Department spokesman.
Authorities were still looking for the woman Friday night. A description of the woman wasn't available, Holmes said.
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Two teen boys, ages 14 and 15, shot in separate incidents in Chicago

From an article:
Police say a 15-year-old boy was shot Wednesday night in the 8100-block of South Spaulding Avenue. He was taken to Advocate Christ in stable condition.
A 14-year-old boy remains in critical condition following a shooting late Wednesday afternoon in the 900-block of East 44th Street. Police say the boy was walking with a girl will the gunman fired several shots striking him in the back and arm. The boy was taken to Comer's Children Hospital.
Police say no one is in custody.
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13-year old boy hunted down and shot in leg after stealing cell phone.

A 13-year old boy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, reached into a car and stole a cell phone.  The owner found out, then drove around and found the boy.  They got into a fight, and the owner shot the boy in the leg.

The man fled the scene.

From an article:
Someone told the man that the boy had burglarized the car, McKneely said. The man got into his car and went looking for the boy.
When the man found the boy in a nearby neighborhood, the two got into a fight, McKneely said. The man pulled the gun and shot the boy in the leg, McKneely said.
The boy ran to the 2500 block of Wooddale Boulevard, where he called police, McKneely said.
The boy’s leg wound is minor, McKneely said.
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Friday, June 22, 2012

14-year old Chicago boy wounded by stray bullets

From an article:

The boy told police he “heard shots and felt pain’’ while in the 900 block of East 44th Street at 3:25 p.m., according to a Wentworth District police lieutenant. 
The boy was wounded in his back and right arm and was taken to University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital, according to the lieutenant. 
The boy was taken in serious condition to Comer, according to the Chicago Fire Department. 
Police found two shell casings at the scene and said a car that was “shot up’’ around the same time just west of the 44thStreet address was related to the shooting. 
No one was arrested.

Bullets don't know when to stop.

6-year old and 21-month old boys shot and killed by father in San Antonio

Davian Bluntson (left), 21-months, Jaydin Thompson (right), age 6
with mother, Brandy Cerny
A woman, Brandy Cerny, was found dead in El Campo, Texas.  Law enforcement considered her ex-boyfriend and father of one of her children, Demond Bluntson, a suspect in the shooting, and tracked him down at a hotel in San Antonio, Texas.  They knocked on the door, and Bluntson shot through the door at them.  When they stormed the room, they found his two children wounded from gunfire.

Bluntson's 21-month old son, Davian Bluntson, died soon after.

Bluntson's 6-year old stepson, Jaydin Thompson, has now died as well.

Bluntson and Cerny had recently broken up.

From an article:
When they went to the room on the 14th floor where they believed Bluntson was staying and identified themselves as cops, they said they heard several gunshots. 
One of the bullets went through the door, narrowly missing the two officers. 
They immediately called for backup, and police began evacuating the hotel and setting up a perimeter around the property. 
At some point, investigators said the two officers entered the room and found Bluntson with two injured boys. 
Police detained Bluntson while paramedics tended to the children. 
Jaydin was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and put on life support. He was transferred to another hospital in San Antonio early Wednesday, where he eventually died. 
Davian was pronounced dead at the scene. 
Family members told KHOU 11 News that Cerny and Bluntson had only recently broken up. 
Bluntson was being held in the Webb County Jail Thursday without bond.
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

16-year old Chicago boy shot in head while standing on his porch

Joseph Briggs, age 16
16-year old Joseph Briggs was standing on the porch of his Chicago home with several other individuals when a car drove up and someone sprayed the group with gunfire.  Joseph was the only one hit, and died from his wound.  It was likely a gang-related shooting.

From an article:

Briggs was standing with several others on his porch on South Rockwell Street in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood when a gunman in a gray vehicle fired shots at the group at about 8 p.m. Saturday, police said, citing preliminary information. 
No other injuries were reported. 
The boy, who was struck in the head, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead at 1:40 a.m. this morning, a medical examiner's spokeswoman said. 
Police officials believe the shooting was gang-related, but they didn't say whether they believe the teen was the intended target.

From a related article:

The teen’s grandmother, who was raising him and his sisters, told the Chicago Sun-Times she did not believe Briggs was the intended target, just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Courtesy Chicago Sun-Times. 
Joseph Briggs, 16, was killed Saturday night on his front porch in Marquette Park, Chicago. 
She said her grandson’s murder has caused her to think about relocating. 
“There’s been a lot of shootings on this block,” Josephine Briggs said to the Sun-Times. “Once I bury him, I’m going to try and move.”

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

12-year old Milwaukee girl shot in home from outside

Averiona Hines, age 12
A 12-year old girl, Averiona Hines, was hit by bullet fragments or debris when bullets flew through her wall from outside her home, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

From an article:

A 12-year-old girl was injured about 12:50 a.m. Tuesday after someone fired shots into her home in the 1500 block of N. 39th St., police said. 
The girl was scratched on her back and arms by fragments, but investigators have not determined whether the girl was struck by bullet fragments or material from the home sent flying after bullets hit the residence, police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz said. 
The injuries are not life-threatening. 
The incident is believed to have stemmed from an earlier argument between a group of girls, police said
UPDATE (6/24/12):  Averiona is home again, but fearful for her life.  From an article:

She was sitting at a table. Her parents were sitting outside on a warm summer night when they first heard gunshots and then the sound of their daughter calling for them. 
The girl was bleeding profusely. She was immediately rushed to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin for treatment of her non-life-threatening injuries. Police called to the scene learned that several shots had been fired at the duplex where Averiona lived with her parents. 
The girl later told WISN-TV (Channel 12) that she was having a hard time sleeping after the shooting. 
"When I go to sleep, it takes me a long time to go sleep," she said. "I think that somebody is going to come back and shoot and I'm going to get hurt again." 
Milwaukee police have no suspects in custody. 
The girl's mother told reporters it wasn't the first time gunshots have been heard in their Washington Park neighborhood. About a week earlier, three males, ages 17, 18 and 19, were shot in the same area, but police don't think the shootings were connected. 
Residents have long expressed concern about escalating violence and gunfire. After the shock of Averiona's shooting, community leaders held a prayer vigil Friday to draw attention to the situation and demand change.

(a related article and video)
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15-year old troubled Cincinnati girl shot and killed in drive-by

Africa Hope, age 15
A 15-year old girl in Cincinnati, named Africa Hope, was shot to death while on the sidewalk, shot once in the neck in a drive-by shooting.  She had recently dropped out of school and had brushes with the law, but attempts by her 74-year old grandmother, with whom she lived, to get help for Africa had failed.

Africa hadn't been breaking any laws at the time of the shooting other than being out past curfew.

From an article and news video:

Someone shot and killed Africa Hope at 1710 Vine Street around 11:10 p.m. Monday. Officials originally reported the incident as a drive-by shooting. 
Dist. 1 Cincinnati police officers and Cincinnati Fire Department personnel responded to the scene and found Hope injured. Emergency crews transported her to University Hospital where she later died. 
The family of the 15-year-old expressed their frustration over her shooting death and the circumstances leading up to it. 
The teen attended Taft High School and then a charter school before dropping out in March. Hope lived with her grandmother, Corline Stone in the West End. 
“She had a lot of problems,” Corline said, who added that the problems included attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. “She didn’t take her medication." 
Hope's family feels the juvenile system that was supposed to help failed. 
"[Hope] had some issues that need to be addressed. Medication, running away from home, not going to school. She asked for help but the juvenile system did not give her any,” said T.J. Stutson, Hope's uncle.
UPDATE (6/24/12):  A man, Harold Croft, age 36, has been arrested for the shooting.  He had been released only 2 months ago after serving 10 years in prison for manslaughter.  Africa was not the intended target.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chicago teen shoots man during robbery

From an article:

The most recent shooting happened about 6 a.m. in the 2000 block of East 93rd Street, when a teenaged suspect shot a 24-year-old man during a robbery attempt, police said.
This was one of the 5 people killed and 26 injured in shootings over the weekend in Chicago.

15-year old Chicago boy shot and wounded in car

From an article:

[A] 15-year-old boy ... was shot in the 1000 block of North Long Avenue about 11 p.m. Friday when someone opened fire at a vehicle he was riding in, police said. The driver took him to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was in “stable” condition with a gunshot wound to the lower back.

This was one of the 5 people killed and 26 injured in shootings over the weekend in Chicago.

16-year old Chicago girl shot and killed

Shakaki Asphy, age 16, on the right.
A 16-year old girl, Shakaki Asphy, was sitting on her porch in Chicago with a friend, 18-year old Leon Cunningham, when a someone ran by and opened fire on them.  Shakaki was shot three times in the chest and was killed.  Leon was hit and wounded.  He was already in a wheelchair after having been paralyzed a few years ago due to gunfire.

The shooting took place in Chicago's dangerous Englewood district.

These were two of the 5 people killed and 26 injured in yet another deadly weekend in Chicago.

From an article:
At about 7 p.m. Saturday, the Harper High School student was on the porch of a home in the 2000 block of West 70th Place with friends. Someone in a gray hoodie ran through a gangway and opened fire, killing Shakaki and wounding Leon Cunningham, 18.
....
Goolsby said her niece loved basketball and played on a team at Harper. She would have been a junior in the fall.
“It’s so tragic,” Goolsby said. “She was such a nice young lady, and not a bad student. It’s too much to take.”
Police said they believe the shooting may have stemmed from a conflict among rival factions of the Gangster Disciples street gang.
But people on the block where the shooting happened said they believe it was a case of mistaken identity. Earlier in the day, there was gunfire at a nearby gas station at the corner of Damen and 71st and the shooter may have been seeking revenge, one resident said.
“Whatever caused this, it’s gotta stop,” he said.
Citywide, murder is up about 35 percent so far this year.

Another article suggests that Cunningham is age 21, and is a gang member.  It says that Shakaki is not affiliated with a gang.
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17-year old Chicago girl injured in home

A 17-year old girl was wounded in her Chicago home by gunfire.

From a short article:
A 17-year-old girl was shot and wounded inside a Marquette Park home The girl was shot in the shoulder inside a residence in the 7000 block of South Maplewood Avenue about 9:11 p.m., said Chicago Police News Affairs Sgt. Antoinette Ursitti. The girl's condition was stabilized and she was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center.
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Sunday, June 17, 2012

2-year old shot in stomach at Philadelphia Father's Day block party

A Father's Day block party was taking place in the Logan neighborhood of Philadelphia, with around 200 people attending, when someone opened fire on the crowd.

A 2-year old was wounded in the stomach, and two men were also hit and injured.

From an article and news video:
Someone opened fire on the crowd around Courtland and 12th Streets. A 2-year-old was shot in the stomach, one man hit in the leg, and another man shot in the hand.
The men are expected to be survive and the toddler remains in stable condition after surgery at St. Christopher's Hospital.
One neighbor said he couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the little girl unconscious in the street.
"I have two girls and a boy, and it hurt me when I saw her limp body on the ground.
Paramedics had to run down to get her. The mother or the grandmother was lying on the ground trying to get her to be responsive. It was so crowded they couldn't get a car down the street, a paramedic or anything," explained Mike Diaz.
Witnesses say it was dramatic moments as paramedics worked to save the victims.
Police have several people in for questioning, no word if the suspects were among them.
The shooting remains under investigation.
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10-year old boy shot in the stomach in St. Louis

A 10-year old boy was shot in the stomach in north St. Louis, Missouri, along with a 24-year old man.

From an article:
Louis police are investigating a shooting in the 4400 block of Lexington in north St. Louis Friday evening.  Police were called to the scene around 5:50pm. A 10 year old was found shot in the stomach.  A 24 year old  was also shot. Both were taken to the hospital and are listed serious, but stable condition.

Police have three suspects in custody.  Charges are pending.
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10-year old Florida girl threatened by man with shotgun

A 10-year old girl was talking on a cell phone outside her Greenacres, Florida home when a man, Stephen Michael Yeatts, approached her and threatened her with a 12-gauge shotgun.  Police arrived and questioned the man in his home.  He lunged for the loaded gun, but officers got it away from him and arrested him.  It isn't known why he threatened the girl.  He also had another firearm in the home.

From an article:
Yeatts looked at the girl, the report said. He did not point the weapon at her but told her he was not joking, according to the report. The girl ran inside to get her father.
It was not clear from the report why Yeatts allegedly threatened the girl.
When officers arrived, they made contact with Yeatts at his apartment. He agreed to let an officer come inside. The officer saw a 12-gauge shotgun leaned against the wall near the front door.
The officer ordered Yeatts to step away from the gun, but Yeatts instead lunged over to the weapon and grabbed it, the report said. The officer grabbed the barrel of the shotgun with one hand and grabbed Yeatts and took him to the ground with the other, the report said.
While they were on the floor, the officer pulled the shotgun away from Yeatts and slid it across the floor. A second officer arrived to help search Yeatts for any other weapons.
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3-year old killed in Missouri

A 3-year old child was shot in the chest and killed, in Independence, Missouri.

From an article:
A young child has been killed in an apparent shooting in Independence.
A dispatcher with the police department confirmed reports of the shooting. Police responded to a home near the intersection of East 20th Avenue and South Scott Avenue at about 3:26 p.m. Radio traffic said at one point that the child had been shot in the chest. The age of the child is believed to be 3 years old, but could not be confirmed at this point.
No other information was available and detectives are still investigating.
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4-year old Florida girl shot in face by stray bullet while watching "Sesame Street"

Krystal Brown, age 4
4-year old Krystal Brown was at her grandparents' home in West Palm Beach, Florida, watching "Sesame Street" when a fight broke out across the street.  Shots were fired, and one of those bullets entered the home and hit little Krystal in the jaw, shattering some of her baby teeth.  A shard of glass is also still in her eye.  Two other bullets hit the home.

A news video.

From an article and another news video:
"I saw that bullet hit her in the face," said Walker, who says she was with her husband, Johnnie, and two of their granddaughters sitting down to watch Sesame Street when they heard commotion outside.
"Johnnie said 'Y'all get down,' " said Walker. "And he reaches to grab them, and then I see the bullet, going into little Krystal, hit her in the face."

Krystal's grandfather says neither he or the little girl knew she had been hit.
"I thought it was just the glass fragments in her face but it wasn't," said Johnnie Walker, outside St. Mary's Medical Center. "She got hit in the jaw."

Investigators say Krystal was the unintended victim of a drive-by shooting by two men in a gray Chevy Impala.
Police say a confrontation that began in a park across the street carried over toward the family's home, with gunfire following.
Bullets don't know when to stop.

12-year old Virginia boy shot and killed while hunting groundhogs with 15-year old brother

A 12-year old boy, Brandon Lord, was hunting groundhogs with his 15-year old brother in Bristol, Virginia, while under "indirect supervision" by a relative.  That's when the 12-year old was fatally shot in the head.

From an article:
The boy and his 15-year-old brother were hunting groundhogs in a field behind the house when the boy was shot around 6 p.m., said Washington County, Va., Sheriff’s Lt. Byron Ashbrook. No one else was hurt, and the boys were being indirectly supervised by a family member, he said.
....
[the boy's Grandfather, Carl] Richardson, who lives at the home where the incident occurred, said the whole family is grieving. A piece of their lives is missing, he said.
 “It’s a tragic, tragic incident, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and community,” Ashbrook said. “It’s a horrible incident, and goes back to show how important gun safety is, period.”

The article did not say who pulled the trigger.

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

4 teens shot in Alabama

This is a disturbing story. A man shot 4 teens with an assault rifle all because he decided they didn't belong in his neighborhood. From the story:
Police say four teenage boys were visiting friends at the Sadie Lee Homes Housing Authority early Thursday morning when a man approached them and told them they didn't belong in the neighborhood. Police say things escalated and shots were fired.
Police found 10 shell casings from an assault rifle at the scene. One bullet entered a window inches above an elderly woman's head. She was unharmed.
Shootings like this are senseless and avoidable. Guns are no way to solve arguments.

15-year old Chicago boy critically injured in struggle over gun

A 15-year old boy in Chicago was handling his older brother's loaded, unsecured gun.  The older brother, 19-year old Patrick Robinson, a convicted felon, attempted to take the gun back.  A struggle ensued, resulting in the shooting of the boy in the back and hand.

From an article:
The boy was playing with the gun in the family's home in the 6500 block of South Lowe Avenue around 12:30 p.m. Thursday, police said.  
Patrick Robinson, 19, became upset and tried to take it away, police said. The two struggled and the gun went off, hitting the boy in the back and the hand, police said. 
The boy was taken in serious condition to University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital, but was upgraded to good condition on Friday, officials said. 
Robinson has two felony convictions for firearm violations, police said.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

3-year old Virginia boy wounded by father during domestic dispute

A 3-year old boy in Suffolk, Virginia, watched as his mother and father began arguing.  That's when the father went down to his car, retrieved a gun, and started shooting into the home.  The gunfire critically wounded the child.

From an article:

A neighbor speaking on condition of anonymity told WAVY.com how the scene unfolded, "The father of the baby, the mother and the other man everybody was arguing. The father went back out to his car and got a gun and he shot up. He's downstairs. He shot up. He didn't mean to shoot his baby, but he just shot up and shot the baby." 
The neighbor said she was in a hallway at the apartment complex when the shooting happened.

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Ohio girl injured in foot during shootout between two boys

A girl in Toledo, Ohio, was injured in the foot by a stray bullet during a shootout between two boys.

From an article:

A girl in North Toledo was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center tonight with a bullet wound in the foot after she was hit by gunfire intended for someone else, police said. 
The shooting was reported in the 3500 block of North Erie Street near Suder Avenue just after 8:15 p.m. 
The girl, whose age and identity were not released, was standing on the sidewalk when one boy fired a handgun at another boy during a quarrel. 
Police later found a gun in a nearby alley. 
Two boys were taken to the Safety Building for questioning. No one was charged by 10:45 p.m. 
The girl’s injury was not believed to be life threatening.

Bullets don't know when to stop.

7-year old Florida boy and three other children watch as man shoots boy's mother and then himself

A 7-year old Tampa, Florida, boy had just spent time with his father Guillermo Garcia in south Florida when he was being dropped off with his mother, Okariny Diaz.  The boy got into his mother's van, where she was in the driver's seat.  Also in the van were three girls, ages 10, 14, and 14, and two other adults.

After their son got into the van, Garcia and Diaz got into an argument.  That's when Garcia pulled out a handgun and killed Diaz, then fatally shot himself in the head, all while their son and the other passengers watched.

From an article:

They got into an argument, McKinnon said, and Garcia pulled out a handgun, shot Diaz multiple times and then shot himself. Both died at the scene, McKinnon said. 
Garcia had dropped off their son, and the boy had entered a van where Diaz was sitting in the driver's seat. When the shooting occurred, the van also was occupied by a 10-year-old girl, two 14-year-old girls and two other adults. The other children weren't related to Diaz, the sheriff's office said. 
"I knew right away the kids were OK because I saw them jumping out of the car," witness Jessica Hernandez said. "But how did he do it in front of the kids? Sad. Really sad." 
Hernandez was at her apartment complex next door to the Village Inn when she heard shots and commotion just before 1 p.m. 
She looked at the restaurant parking lot and saw children anxiously trying to escape a van. People were screaming and crying. She then saw the gunman shoot himself in the head. 
He quickly shot himself after shooting Diaz. 
"It was really fast," she said.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

8-year old California boy wounded in shootout between two groups of men

An 8-year old boy was visiting his aunt's house in Perris, California, and playing in the front yard with two other boys, when two groups of men began shooting at each other.  The boy was wounded.  Other bullets struck surrounding homes and cars, nearly hitting other people in the process.

From an article:

Sgt. Ryan Hoxmeier said the men involved in the exchange of gunfire, estimated to be 18 to 25 years old, were still at large Friday. 
One group of men sped away in a car and others ran away, he said. One car involved in the shooting was left in the neighborhood, he said. 
At her mobile home on Opal Drive Friday afternoon, Cortez, 23, said her nephew lives in Utah and has been visiting family in Riverside County. 
Cortez said she was at work when the shooting happened, but others told her that her three nephews were playing out front at the time. At first, she said, the boys didn't understand there had been gunfire. 
When the 8-year-old told the other boys he had been shot, she said, they didn't believe him. But they soon realized it was no joke, she said. 
“I heard he was a brave little one,” Cortez said. 
Cortez said the boy is with relatives in Moreno Valley and is expected to undergo surgery Monday to remove the bullet from his leg. 
She said her nephew is too afraid to return to her house now. 
“I don't even want to be here,” she said.

Bullets don't know when to stop.

12-year old Kentucky boy shoots teen girl by hitting bullet with hammer

A 12-year old boy Louisville, Kentucky boy got hold of a live bullet cartridge and hit it with a hammer.  The round fired and hit a teenage girl, grazing her in the neck.

From an article:

Police say the boy did it when he hit a bullet cartridge with a hammer. 
Officers say he was playing with the live ammunition when he hit the cartridge on the sidewalk. 
The girl was walking with friends when she felt something hit her neck. 
The boy's mother told police she didn't know how the boy got the bullets. 
He was taken to a juvenile detention center on a criminal recklessness charge.

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9-year old Washington boy shot by 10-year old target-shooting brother

A 9-year old boy and his 10-year old brother were target-shooting, unsupervised, outside Raymond, Washington, when the 10-year old shot his younger brother in the chest.


From an article:
A 9-year-old boy was shot in the chest outside the town of Raymond on Friday, allegedly by his brother.  
According to the Pacific County Sheriff's Office, his 10-year-old brother was doing target practice in the area of 357 Mill Creek Road in an unincorporated part of the county. 
The 9-year-old victim was standing 3-4 feet away from the target when he was shot. 
The victim was transported by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition, with possibly paralyzing injuries. 
It is not known what type of gun was used. 
Child protective services and the prosecuting attorney have been notified because nobody was watching the boys when they were doing target practice, the Sheriff's Office said. 
Unrelated to the incident, the victim's father was scheduled to be sentenced Friday for drug-related crimes.


Given the father's crimes, is it surprising that the boys were able to get hold of a loaded gun and ammo?


According to another article:
The 9-year-old is being flown by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. [Sheriff] Johnson said the boy was in critical condition and paralyzed from the waist down.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

UPDATE (6/17/12):  The 9-year old had been on a rope swing.  From a related article:
The older boy, who is 10, was outside and practicing target shooting with a .22 rifle in an unincorporated-area near Raymond when his younger brother asked their stepfather if he could go outside as well, said Pacific County Sheriff Scott Johnson.
The boy received permission, Johnson said, and headed towards a rope swing that was about three to four feet away from the older boy’s target.
The 9-year-old had his hand on the rope when he was shot in the chest, according to Johnson.
He was taken to a local hospital and then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he has undergone three surgeries so far, Johnson said.
Johnson said that the 10-year-old will not be facing criminal charges, but Child Protective Services and the county’s prosecuting attorney has been notified because no adults were supervising the target practice.
This is the fifth accidental shooting of a child in Washington since February.
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