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

Monday, July 30, 2012

17-year old Pennsylvania boy threatens family with assault rifle and bayonet

A 17-year old boy in Butler County, Pennsylvania, threatened his family with an "AK-type rifle," then tried to hide the weapons.

From an article:

State police in Butler wrote in a news release that they were called to Middendorf Street in Marion about 2 p.m. for a report that a 17-year-old boy "pointed an AK-type rifle" at four family members -- ages 1 to 54 -- and "told them they had 10 minutes to leave the house." 
When someone told the boy that police were on their way, he ran into the woods. Troopers said they found him about three hours later, when he surrendered, unarmed at the edge of the woods. The boy then led troopers through the woods, pointing them to a rifle, a bayonet and six live rounds of ammunition. 
Police said they plan to charge the boy as a juvenile with making terroristic threats, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.

The article did not state how the boy got the weapons.

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

17-year old Texas girl unintentionally shot to death in head

A 17-year old girl, Jessica Saldivar, was shot in the head and killed by a man in Pharr, Texas, in an apparent unintentional shooting.

From an article:

Eliezer Sanchez Jr., 19, was arraigned on a manslaughter charge Sunday afternoon for shooting Jessica Saldivar in the head about 5 a.m. Saturday at a house in the 6800 block of South Azul Lane. Municipal Judge Rodolfo “Rudy” Martinez set Sanchez’s bond at $50,000. 
Sanchez told police investigators that he had pulled the trigger of the .38-caliber revolver not knowing that it was loaded, according to the criminal complaint. Four witnesses provided sworn statements that the shooting was accidental. 
Saldivar was rushed to the hospital where she later died about 3 a.m. Sunday. 


Sunday, July 29, 2012

12-year old unintentionally shot by father in Arizona

A 12-year old child was with other children at a party in his home, in Phoenix, Arizona, when the child's father unintentionally shot and wounded the child while handling his gun.  The father then fled the scene.

From an article:

Residents in the area of 3900 S. 3rd Avenue were having a party early Sunday morning that included several children. 
At some point during the party, the father reportedly shot his child while attempting to clear his gun. 
The child was taken to the hospital with a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the leg. 
The father fled the scene prior to police arriving and has yet to be located.


7-year old girl killed and 9-year old brother injured by father in murder/suicide in Massachusetts

Owen and Abigail Benway, ages 9 and 7
A 7-year old girl, Abigail Benway, was found shot to death in a home in Oxford, Massachusetts.  Her father, 41-year old Daryl Benway, was also found shot to death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Abigail's 9-year old brother, Owen, was also found shot in the head, but alive.  He is now in critical condition.

Daryl Benway had recently separated from his wife, Kelleen, the mother of the two children with him.

Daryl had no previous criminal record, and he had a conceal carry permit that expired in 1999.

From an article:

A man who had recently separated from his wife shot his two children, killing his 7-year-old daughter, before committing suicide, prosecutors said. 
A family member called police Saturday night after finding the bodies of 41-year-old Daryl Benway and his daughter, Abigail, in the master bedroom of their two-story Oxford home, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said. 
Benway's 9-year-old son, Owen, was found shot in the head in the kitchen and was taken to UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center in serious condition. Owen has been in pediatric intensive care, a spokesman for Early said Sunday. He said he had no additional information about Owen Benway's condition, and a hospital spokeswoman would not comment. 
Benway's wife, Kelleen, returned home after the shootings, unaware of what had happened, and found a swarm of police cruisers and television crews, Early said. She was taken to the children's hospital, where authorities told her the fates of her children and husband.

(a related article, with the family photo via Facebook).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

16-year old boy wounded in Washington shooting

A 16-year old boy was wounded in the head, in a shooting in Kennewick, Washington.  Two teens are in custody for the shooting.

From an article:

A 16-year-old Kennewick boy received a superficial head wound from a gunshot about 2:20 p.m. today at Yelm and West First avenues. 
Kennewick Sgt. Ken Lattin said it was a glancing blow and the teen was talking and alert when emergency officials arrived. It does not appear the teen was in a fight, Lattin said. 
Two teen suspects have been detained, according to initial reports. 
The victim has been taken to the hospital.

Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2012/07/24/2031506/victim-shot-today-off-kennewick.html#storylink=cpy

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

11-year old Baton Rouge girl injured, along with mother, by shooter

An 11-year old girl and her mother were walking in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, when a man got out of his car and shot both of them.  Luckily neither were killed.  Police say this was the result of a domestic dispute.

From an article:

The shooting happened on Ryder Drive, off Perkins between Staring and Kenilworth. Police say a 28-year-old woman was shot in the mid-section and is in critical condition. An 11-year-old girl, the woman's niece, was shot in the leg and is in stable condition. 
Police say the two were walking on the sidewalk when the suspect got out of his car and fired multiple shots. 
Police are saying that this is a domestic dispute. They are searching for the shooter, who was last seen driving a newer model, two-door red Camaro. 
Names of the injured have not been released. 


13-year old Chicago boy wounded in shooting

From an article about a shooting of a 13-year old boy in Chicago, Illinois:
About 10:21 p.m., a 13-year-old boy and a friend were standing in the 6100 block of South Honore Street when two men approached them, according to police News Affairs. 
One man took out a handgun and opened fire, police News Affairs said. 
The 13-year-old boy was hit in the buttocks and taken to the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital in good condition, police News Affairs said. 
Police have made no arrests as Area South detectives investigate the shooting.

4-year old Virginia boy finds unsecured gun in truck and kills himself

Kyrell Kyyon McNeill, age 4
A 4-year old boy, Kyrell Kyyon McNeill, went into an unoccupied truck, in Woodbridge, Virginia, and found a loaded, unsecured gun.  He unintentionally discharged the weapon, hitting himself in the head.  He died at the scene.

From an article and news footage:
Next-door neighbor Javiar Garcia used to give quarters to the boy, and enjoyed watching the child push his scooter up and down the sidewalk that runs in front of their homes. 
He had just parked his own car after running an errand when he heard the mother's screams and rushed to help. 
"She said 'My baby's dead. My baby's dead,'" he said.
"I saw the baby in the back seat with (his body) down, and they had blood around and a little hole in his head too, and I said 'Oh my God, we have to call 9-11,"" he said. 
The mother had already phoned to ask for help, he told 9News Now. 
Neighbors expressed sadness and concern for the family, but one had strong feelings about what should happen next. 
"My opinion is that the owner should be charged.
"Whether it's an illegal, weapon or a legal weapon, he should have had his vehicle locked," said neighbor Dave Brain.
From another article:

[Grandmother] Lylla Scales says she doesn't blame anyone for the accident that claimed the life of her grandson, Kyrell McNeill, but she does think that there are too many guns available. 
"I hate guns. I realize that in certain jobs you have to have them or they're required of you, but there are too many," Scales says.....Scales says she was told Kyrell got into the locked pickup truck and got a hold of the gun by climbing through the sliding back window. 
Scales says she last saw her grandson a little more than a week ago. She says he loved to come over and play, especially basketball. He was really excited about starting school in the fall. 
She says she can't bring herself to accept the fact that he's gone, and the fact that he was taken away so suddenly and so tragically. 
"I hate it. I hate to think that he left like that, so young," says Scales.

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

6-year old Georgia girl shot and killed unintentionally by 13-year old brother

Jenn Stanovich, age 6
A 13-year old boy in Culloden, Georgia, had been shooting at armadillos in the yard with a .22-caliber rifle.  The boy and girl were from Connecticut and were visiting their grandmother's home.  Afterward he came inside and put the gun on his bed, thinking it was unloaded.  While he was talking with his 6-year old sister, Jenn Stanovich, in the doorway to the room, the gun fell to the floor and discharged, hitting his sister.

Jenn died from her wound, at the hospital.

From an article:

Authorities say only one shot was fired from the weapon, a .22-caliber rifle. It was discharged inside the family's home.
According to the incident report, the brother told sheriff's officers that he had come back inside after hunting armadillos in the backyard. He went into the bedroom and attempted to clear and unload his rifle. The brother told officers that he believed that the rifle was unloaded and he placed it on the bed. He said he knocked the rifle onto the floor where it discharged. The bullet hit his sister who was talking to the boy in the doorway.
The bullet hit 6-year-old Jenn in the wrist and abdomen.
She was taken to the Medical Center of Central Georgia where she passed away shortly thereafter.
Sheriff's investigators were immediately dispatched to the scene. Spokeswoman Allison Selman-Willis told 13WMAZ that they do not suspect foul play but that their investigation is continuing.
The girl's body has been sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's crime lab for autopsy.

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

11-year old Maryland girl shot by another child

An 11-year old girl was apparently shot unintentionally by another child, in Willards, Maryland.

From an article:
An 11-year-old girl is being treated at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury after being shot this afternoon.
According to the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, another child may have accidentally shot the 11-year-old girl around 2:40 p.m. on State Street.
After 911 was called the girl was taken by ambulance to PRMC.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

5-year old North Carolina girl shot and injured, mother killed, in murder/suicide by father

Catherine McCutcheon, age 40, and her 5-year old daughter were in the process of moving out of their home, loading a moving van, with the help of an uncle in Hertford, North Carolina.

That's when her estranged husband, James William McCutcheon, 56, showed up armed.  He shot and killed Catherine and wounded their daughter, then killed himself.

The 5-year old girl was taken to the hospital.  Her condition has not been released.

(original news article)


Friday, July 27, 2012

8 year old Wisconsin boy accidentally shot

There are few details about this latest accidental shooting of a child in Wisconsin. From the article:
 An 8-year-old boy is dead after he was shot near Kieler, in far southwestern Wisconsin.
The Grant County Sheriff's Office was notified Friday that a boy had been accidentally shot with a gun. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after deputies and emergency medical crews arrived.
More details will likely be released later.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

5-year old Dallas child unintentionally shot by gun owner in Wal-Mart

A man who was checking out at a Dallas, Texas, Wal-Mart unintentionally discharged his loaded, concealed gun.  The round hit him in the buttocks.  Fragments from the bullet then hit a woman and a 5-year old child.

From an article:
Todd Canady, 23, of Waco had allegedly bolted from the store in the Lake Highlands district Monday night when he was confronted by an off-duty police officer about the shooting, which left a woman and a 5-year-old child wounded.
Police told the Dallas Morning News they grabbed Canady after a short foot pursuit and booked him on charges of injuring a child and evading arrest.
KDFW-TV, Dallas/Fort Worth, said Canady, who has a concealed-weapons permit, was reportedly reaching for his wallet in the checkout line but grabbed the pistol he was carrying instead. The gun went off, wounding Canady in the buttocks. The bullet then hit the floor and sent fragments into the other two victims.
An off-duty officer saw the incident and confronted Canady, who allegedly ran off.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

15-year old girl killed, two other teens wounded, at Connecticut sweet-sixteen party

An image of Keijahnae "Nu Nu" Robinson, age 15, 

A group of teens were at a "sweet sixteen" party in Bridgeport, Connecticut, when two men opened fire on the home.  On the porch were three teenagers.  15-year old Keijahnae "Nu Nu" Robinson was struck in the head and died from her wound.  A 15-year old boy and a 17-year old girl were also wounded, but are recovering.

From an article:
Peppered with questions, Williamson could only answer: "Why my sister? Who's giving out these guns? What happened to that curfew?"
"We're losing our babies out there," said Newton, whose daughter, Kayla, was a classmate of Robinson's at both the New Life Academy and until Saturday Bullard-Havens Technical High School. "I'm telling families we got to get together and do something. Today it was Nu Nu. Tomorrow it could be your child."
Not long before the shooting, Robinson and her two friends left a Sweet 16 birthday party at the White Eagle Club on East Washington Avenue. Club security cut the party short after a fight broke out. Everyone was sent home, until a parent invited the departing guests to resume the festivities at her Brooks Street home. Robinson and two friends accepted the invite and were talking on the porch at 449-51 Brooks St. when two gunmen perched at the corner of Stillman and Brooks streets opened fire, striking the trio. Witnesses saw them flee east on Stillman Street in a dark-colored car.


5-year old Oakland girl shot by stray bullet

A 5-year old girl was walking with an adult and another child, in Oakland, California, when a man shot at another man.  The bullet missed and hit the girl instead.

The girl is now in stable condition.

From an article:
Several residents of the area described hearing three shots, and one said the apparent target of the attack ran up 50th Avenue to escape. Although the attack's timing and location - midafternoon, in front of a fire station - were particularly brazen, several residents said gunshots are not uncommon in the neighborhood.

14-year old Illinois girl shot in home invasion

A 14-year old girl and her 15-year old brother were at home in Rockford, Illinois, when two men broke in and attacked them.  The boy was beaten up, and the girl was shot one time because she wouldn't stop crying.

From an article:
Shortly before 3:30 a.m. two men broke in the front door of the apartment in the 4100 block of Auburn Street. They made some demands and the girl began to cry, said Rockford police Sgt. John Hoshaw.
“They told her to stop crying or they’d shoot her,” Hoshaw said. “She continued to cry so they shot her ... 14 years old."
The two men fled before police arrived and are still at large.

3-year old Tennessee child shoots self in foot with family gun

A mother in Clarksville, Tennessee, was working in her kitchen while her 3-year old and 10-month old children were playing in another room.  That's when she heard a gunshot and found that her 3-year old had found the family's unsecured, loaded handgun.  The child sustained a wound to the foot.

From an article and 911 recording:
The preliminary investigation by Detective Tracy Woodruff indicated that the child had found the handgun unsecured and started to play with it on the couch.  The child was on the couch when he discharged the Spring Armory XD, 9 mm, into his foot.  There was a bullet hole located on the couch where the child was playing with the gun.  Additionally, besides the mother , there was also a 10 month old child inside of the residence at the time of the discharge.
The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed.
This is the second incident of a child discharging an unsecured firearm. The last one occurred on July 8, 2012 and a 6 year old child discharged a firearm that was left unattended.
Police are recommending that anyone with firearms to ensure they are properly secured for the safety of adults and children in the residence.
Here's a better idea.  If there are children in the home, don't have a gun in the home.

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

Monday, July 23, 2012

Children wounded in the Aurora, Colorado mass shooting

A number of children were wounded when lone gunman, James Eagon Holmes, opened fire on a crowded Aurora, Colorado movie theater during the midnight premiere of "Batman Rises."  Many more escaped, but will retain the trauma of the event for the rest of their lives.

One child, 6-year old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, died in the shooting, which was covered in a separate blog post here at Kid Shootings.

Kaylan, age 13, who tried to save Veronica Moser-Sullivan
A 13-year old girl, named Kaylan, heroically tried to save Veronica's life.  She is also a volunteer in her community.

A number of other children were also hit by gunfire and wounded.

According to an article from the Denver Post today, five children other than Veronica were admitted to Children's Hospital in Aurora.  So far, three have been released.  Names and ages were not released in that article.  But other sources give more specifics.

HERE is video of a 3-month old who was wounded.

3-month old infant injured in Aurora, Colorado
According to other reports, such as this one, a girl around 14 years of age was seen wounded in the theater.

According to another report, another victim was a 6-year old boy:

"As people ran this gunman, or gunmen, opened fire hitting people," Joseph said. "Police sources have told us there are 10 bodies inside the cinema, most of them children or teenagers, and one baby." 
"A baby was shot at point blank range, the family were [sic] gathered around screaming," he clarified. 
The baby was reportedly taken to a local Children's Hospital, though ABC News revealed that the infant was released from the hospital and was not that seriously injured. Several other young children were also among the wounded, including a 6-year-old boy who was also taken to the hospital. 
Commentators on various social media sites, such as Twitter, have used the incident to raise the question of how wise it is to bring very young children to midnight movie screenings of violent movies. "The Dark Knight Rises" is Rated PG-13, which means that children under 13 years of age can still see the movie if they are accompanied by an adult.
We will post more in the future as more is revealed on the child victims of the Aurora shooting.

4-year old Bronx boy killed in park by stray bullet

Lloyd Morgan, age 4
4-year old Lloyd Morgan was playing at a playground in the Bronx, New York, while a basketball game was being played nearby.  The game was being played in memorium for a young woman killed a year before.

An argument broke out in the basketball game.  Shots were fired.

One of those bullets hit Lloyd, killing him.  Two young men were also wounded.

No arrests have yet been made.

From an article:
The gunfire broke out on a basketball court during a game that was being played as part of a memorial for a victim of violence, a woman who died here more than a year ago, residents said. 
Little Lloyd Morgan, who was caught in the crossfire when gunshots erupted around 9:30 p.m. in the park in the Forest Houses in Morrisania, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
"My baby is gone," said his mother, Shianne Norman. 
Authorities say two other men were also shot. A 27-year-old was shot in the stomach and a 21-year-old was shot in the arm. Both are expected to survive. 
"A massive amount of shots just out of the blue, and then another massive amount of shots out of the blue, and then my baby was gone," his mother sobbed. 
Residents described chaos as people began running throughout the park and parents grabbed their children.  
Shooter Rondell Pinkerton, age 17
Bullets don't know when to stop.

UPDATE (7/25/12):  A 17-year old boy, Rondell Pinkerton, has been arrested for the shooting.  He used a .45-caliber handgun.

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

10-year old Illinois boy unintentionally killed by 7-year old sister handling unsecured rifle

10-year old Christian Clark and his sister, 7-year old Halee Clark, were playing in their grandfather's hunting RV, in Dix, Illinois.  There were a number of unsecured guns in the RV.  Halee picked up a loaded rifle and unintentionally discharged it, striking her brother in the head and killing him.

From an article:

The initial investigation indicates the victim and his seven-year-old sister, Halee Clark, were inside the motor home that is used as a hunting cabin when young Halee picked up a long gun.  Jefferson County Coroner Eddie Jo Marks says a round accidentally discharged and struck Christian in the head, resulting in his death. 

Marks says there were a few guns laying out and the one the young girl picked up contained just the one shell that resulted in her brother's death.  Marks reported the girl immediately left the vehicle to tell family members that her brother had been hurt.  Christian was pronounced dead on the scene.

Mulch says the initial investigation indicates that the recreational vehicle is owned by the grandfather of the two children, Jason Clark, Senior.  He is also from Granite City.   
(a related article)

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

Sunday, July 22, 2012

6-year old Veronica Moser-Sullivan shot and killed in Aurora, Colorado mass shooting

Veronica Moser-Sullivan, age 6
6-year old Veronica Moser-Sullivan was attending the midnight premiere of a Batman movie, in Aurora, Colorado.

That's when a lone gunman, James Eagon Holmes, entered the theater armed with three weapons, including an assault rifle, and dressed in ballistic armor, opened fire on the crowded theater.  12 people died.  Another 58 were wounded.

Among the dead was Veronica.

From an article:
The "vibrant, excitable," blond-haired, blue-eyed little girl, who was bragging five days ago about learning how to swim, was one of the 12 people killed in the Aurora theater shooting Friday, said her great-aunt Annie Dalton.
"She loved to dress up and read and was doing well at school. She was beautiful and innocent," Dalton said of Veronica, who attended Holly Ridge Elementary School in Denver. "It's a nightmare right now." 

Veronica's mother, Ashley Moser, remains in critical condition from the shooting.

The 25-year-old was shot in the neck, and doctors have been unable to remove the bullet. She also suffered a gunshot wound in the abdomen.
Moser passes in and out of consciousness, asking about her daughter, Dalton said, and does not yet know that Veronica died.
Moser, who was recently accepted to medical school, might recover with some use of her hands.
"They expect her to have some paralysis but don't know how extensive it will be," Dalton said.

Other children were wounded in the shooting.  These will be covered in a later posting.

UPDATE (7/23/12):  Veronica's mother, Ashley Moser, was pregnant when shot in the belly.  Luckily, the unborn child has survived.

Friday, July 20, 2012

7-year old Louisiana child unintentionally shot by another child

A 7-year old was shot to death by another child, in Athens, Louisiana.

From an article:
A 7-year-old child died tonight after being accidentally shot by another child, Claiborne Parish Sheriff Ken Bailey said.
An investigation is under way; however, Bailey expects the incident to be ruled an accident. “It’s just a tragic, tragic thing.”

The shooting was reported after 5:30 p.m. at a home on Kemp Road, which is off state Highway 518 about 5 miles west of Athens. The child was flown from the scene to LSU Hospital in Shreveport, where he was pronounced dead, Bailey said.
Neither the victim’s name nor the name of the other child, who is related to the victim, was released tonight.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

2-year old boy shoots and kills himself with grandfather's unsecured gun

A 2-year old boy from Denver, Colorado was visiting his grandparents in Sandy, Utah, for a summer vacation.  He went into the grandparents' bedroom, alone, and found a loaded, unsecured handgun there, and shot himself in the head, dying from the wound.

From an article:
Police in Sandy, Utah say the 2-year-old boy was visiting from Colorado for a summer vacation and accidentally shot himself in the head.
Police Sgt. Jon Arnold says the boy was airlifted to Primary Children's Medical Center after emergency crews were called about 7 p.m. Tuesday, but he died at the hospital.
It was not immediately clear how the boy got hold of his grandfather's 9 mm handgun.
Arnold says the boy was alone in a bedroom at the time of the shooting, but that other family members were elsewhere in the house.
The name of the child has not been released. His family lives in the Denver area.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

17-year old Houston girl and mother shot and wounded over argument about loud music

A woman and her 17-year old daughter were bothered by their neighbor's loud music, at a Houston, Texas trailer park.  They confronted the neighbor, but a fight broke out with a woman there, then the neighbor woman pulled out a gun and opened fire, wounding the woman and her daughter.

From an article:
The victims, whose names have not been released, were rushed to Memorial Hermann hospital. Deputies did not release details of the teenager’s wound or condition, but said her mother had  a grazing wound. Both are expected to survive.

Deputies said the women were wounded after they asked a group of people nearby them to turn down their music. A woman with the group began to fight with the mother and daughter and then pulled out a gun and opened fire, deputies said.
Deputies said investigators have no suspect in the case.

3-year old Tulsa girl shot in foot while father pursues car thieves

A man was driving in Tulsa, Oklahoma with his 3-year old daughter in the car when he spotted a vehicle of his that had been stolen the day before.  He followed the vehicle while calling 911, but the car thieves noticed him and shot at him, hitting the daughter in the foot.  Three of the thieves were caught.  The fourth is still at large with the gun.  The girl will be okay, since the wound was a graze wound.

From an article:
The owner of the stolen car was driving with his young daughter Wednesday, when he recognized his car.
Police say the man called 911 as he followed the stolen car.
Shortly after that, police say the man called back saying his three-year-old daughter had been shot inside the car.
Police believe the suspects in the stolen car realized they were being followed and shot at the victim's Honda Accord.
"Last couple days, we've seen people, what happens when individuals have guns and things like that. It turns into a very violent and dangerous situation," said Leland Ashley, of the Tulsa Police Department.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Two North Dakota boys, ages 13 and 14, caught after stealing gun from car

A mother caught her son with a gun that he and his friend had stolen from an unlocked car, in Bismarck, North Dakota, and turned them in.  The boys are ages 13 and 14.

From an article:
Officer Pat Renz said a Bismarck woman brought a handgun to the police department at 8:21 p.m. Tuesday, saying she found it in her 13-year-old son’s dresser. The boy told officers he and a 14-year-old boy were walking in the area of North 15th Street and East Avenue F and saw the gun in a center console of a vehicle. The car was unlocked, they said, and they took the gun.
The boys contradicted each other about who actually took the gun, with both claiming to be a lookout while the other took it, Renz said.
Renz said the gun had not been reported stolen, and officers have not found its owner. The boys said the theft occurred between July 2 and July 6.
One has to wonder why the gun owner didn't report the gun stolen.

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

Wisconsin child shot in the eye with a BB gun

Some children were playing around with a BB gun, in Evansville, Wisconsin, when one of them were shot in the eye, resulting in a serious eye injury.

From an article:
The incident initially was reported as a drive-by shooting, but after police interviewed the kids, they admitted they were horsing around and one of them was shot in the eye. The injury is “relatively serious,” McElroy said, but he didn’t have more details because police still were investigating.
“We’re confident there was no drive-by shooting,” he said.
Police anticipate charges in the case because those involved initially lied to police, he said.
The article did not indicate the age, name, or gender of the wounded child.

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

17-year old boy, high on pot, unintentionally shoots self in head and dies

Three young men were smoking pot in Moreno Valley, California.  One of them, 17-year old Miles Meulstee, was playing around with his .357-caliber handgun.  The other boys told him to stop playing around, but Miles didn't listen.  The gun fired, striking Miles in the head and killing him.

From an article:
Alex Barner, 19, said Meulstee, 17, was playing with a .357 that Meulstee owned in Barner’s house Monday.
A third boy named Josh was with Barner and Meulstee at Barner’s house on Mendoza Road in the Sunnymead Ranch area. The parents were not home, Barner said.
“Me and Josh both told him to stop playing around. It’s not a toy,” Barner said.
But the gun fired once, a bullet striking Meulstee in the head, Barner said.
“He was kind-hearted, funny, he would do anything for anyone, a great friend,” Barner said of Meulstee. The two of them liked to skateboard together and just hang out almost every day. They lived five houses from each other on Mendoza Road.
Barner and other friends acknowledged that Meulstee had been battling drug problems.
A candlelight vigil was scheduled for Thursday night on Mendoza Road.

The article didn't indicate how he got hold of the loaded gun.

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

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

17-year old Portland boy wounded in Police gang task force stop

17-year old boy wounded in police shooting
During an investigation of a gang member in Portland, Oregon, members of the Portland Police Bureau’s Gun Task Force and Gang Enforcement Team witnessed a 17-year old boy come out of the suspect's apartment with a gun.  They followed the boy and pulled him over, but when he was asked to reveal the gun, he ran.  Police fired a beanbag round and a live round.  The bullet grazed the boy's right thigh.  A chase ensued and the boy was caught.  He had ditched two handguns in the chase.

From an article:
East Precinct Officer Greg Moore, who had just started riding alone during his final phase of probation, was the officer who fired a single shot from his handgun at a fleeing 17-year-old boy after the teenager Tuesday ran from a high-risk felony car stop. Moore, who was hired March 24, 2011, fired one shot. Portland Officer Dennis Wilcox had fired one beanbag from a less-lethal beanbag shotgun.  The 17-year-old boy was booked late Tuesday night into the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention on allegations of four counts of unlawful use of a firearm after he was treated at a local hospital for his injuries. He was wounded by Moore's bullet in the right thigh, police said Wednesday.....The 17-year-old has a prior juvenile conviction for third-degree robbery and was on probation for a year, which ended in December. 
Tuesday's encounter between police and the teen occurred after members of the Portland Police Bureau’s Gun Task Force and Gang Enforcement Team had been conducting surveillance on an apartment in Southeast Portland.  
Unit 39 at 646 SE 148th Ave was to be the subject of a federal search warrant, stemming from an investigation into tampering with witnesses and linked to the pending felon in possession of a firearm indictment against Sid Willis, a Crip gang member. 
While doing surveillance, Portland officers saw the teenager come out with a gun, "showing it off," police said.
(a related link with article and news videos)

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

9 year old Missouri girl shot by 12 year old brother

If this one sounds familiar, it's because there was a very similar story from the state of Oklahoma recently. Another 12 year old boy has shot his 9 year old sister. He has been arrested, along with his father:
Lt. Jim McMillen with the Sikeston Department of Public Safety says a 9-year-old girl was shot with her father's gun by her 12-year-old brother on Sunday.
DPS had originally released the boy's age as 11, but now says the father gave them the wrong age.
Bobby Cantrell, 47, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child 1st degree. 
He was given a bond of $10,000 cash or surety.
Officers arrested the 12-year-old boy as well. Charges are pending against him.
Sikeston Department of Public Safety received a 911 call around 6:10 p.m. Sunday of a 9-year-old girl taken to the Missouri Delta Medical Center for a gunshot wound.
Officers responded to the hospital and to a home at 111 Reuben Street where the shooting happened.
The girl and her 12-year-old brother were in their father's bedroom when the boy picked up a loaded .40 caliber pistol that belonged to their dad and shot his sister, according to Sikeston DPS.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

4-year old Detroit girl shoots self with father's unsecured gun in car

A 4-year old girl in Detroit was having trouble sleeping at midnight, so the family put her in their car.  The girl then found her father's loaded, unsecured gun in the car and shot herself in the thigh.

The father had a license for the gun.

From an article:
The girl was playing inside a parked vehicle when she found the gun and accidentally shot herself. She is at a hospital and is expected to recover.
A woman who answered the door Monday at the home identified herself as the girl's aunt and said family members were gathered at the house when the accident happened.
"She wouldn't go to sleep," the woman said when asked why the girl was up at nearly midnight. She said the girl's father and other family members were at Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit on Monday with the girl.
The owner of the weapon in Sunday's shooting has a license to carry a gun, [Sgt.] Stephens said.
"It's important that every person who is the owner of a weapon ... must keep it secured," Stephens said.
Neighbor Kelly Segar, 44, said she heard the gunshot from across the street. She said she didn't look to see what had happened because gunshots ring out in the neighborhood periodically.
She said the father of the girl who was shot is one of the people who looks out for others in the neighborhood.
"He is visible in the neighborhood -- he watches out a lot," she said, adding that she is surprised about what happened to the girl.
"The question I have is, 'Why is she up that late and why was she in the car at 12 o'clock at night?' " Segar said. "I'm glad she's OK, though."
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Monday, July 16, 2012

13-year old Chicago boy wounded and 14-year old girl almost shot

Rony Monzon, age 13
13-year old Rony Monzon and 14-year old Daneysi Valdovinos were sitting on the porch of their Chicago home when a man walked up and unloaded his gun on them.  The boy, Rony, protected Daneysi, who had grown up with him.  He was shot six times, including in the chest, arm, and hip, but has survived his injuries.

A motive was not released for the shooting, though the area has gang activity.

From an article and news video:
Daneysi Valdovinos, age 14
14-year-old Valdovinos said the shooter stood in the gangway just a few feet from where her and her friend were sitting, Wednesday night.
"We just see a guy pop out…shooting at us, like straight at me. But, all of a sudden my friend Rony, he stands up and is like, what's happening? And they shot him six times," Valdovinos added.
Monzon was shot in his chest, arm and hip. He was sent to Mount Sinai Hospital in stable condition Thursday. He was released from the hospital later that night.

15-year old boy killed and 16-year old boy injured in Chicago shooting

From an article, regarding a shooting in Chicago:
A 16-year-old has been shot and killed on the Southwest Side in the Gage Park neighborhood.
Police said the teen was shot around 2 p.m. Thursday near 58th and Fairfield.
He was shot in the chest and was pronounced dead at the scene.
A 15-year-old boy was also shot in the leg.
The article suggested that at least one of the boys were caught in crossfire.

3-year old North Carolina boy shot to death by his father in murder/suicide

3-year old Jesse Adams was shot to death by his father, Carey "CJ" Adams, Jr., in Grifton, North Carolina.

The father was a felon with an extensive criminal record, including assault with a deadly weapon and felon in possession of a firearm.  He was also separated from the boy's mother and had a longstanding domestic dispute.

From an article and news video:
First responders took 3-year-old Jesse Adams to Vidant Medical Center where he later died.  His father, 34-year-old Carey Adams Jr., also known as C.J., turned the gun on himself after shooting his son.
Deputies tell us Carey Adams, Jr. underwent surgery to remove his organs and died Sunday.
9 On Your Side talked with neighbors who say they're shocked and upset by what happened.
Ben Gaskins says he couldn't believe it.
"It looked like New York City out here. It was fire trucks, police cars, people still coming and then all of a sudden you hear a helicopter."

14-year old boy and older man both shot and injured in Chicago

From an article, regarding a shooting in Chicago:
A 14-year-old boy was seriously wounded in a South Side Washington Park neighborhood shooting that also left another man injured.
The boy and a 51-year-old man were outside in the 200 block of East Garfield Boulevard about 9:20 p.m. when a male suspect shot them both, police said.
The teen was shot in the abdomen and is in serious condition at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital early Sunday, police News Affairs Officer Greer said.
The man suffered a gunshot wound to his arm and was taken in “stable” condition to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Greer said.
No arrests have been made in the connection with the shooting, which is under investigation by Area Central detectives.

18-year old young man shoots and injures two girls, 12 and 13, in Chicago

Tashona Polk, age 13
Four girls were walking down the street after leaving a park in the Pullman area of Chicago when two of them, Tashona Polk, 13, and Nakia Turner, 12, were shot and injured.  The younger girl was shot twice in the abdomen and the younger girl wounded in the buttocks.

An 18-year old young man, Jermaine A. Louis, turned himself in for the shooting, with the help of Ceasefire Chicago.

According to police, the girls weren't the intended targets.

Apparently the shooting was gang-related.

From an article:
The two girls wounded were walking with two others when they were shot. The younger girl was shot twice in the abdomen and the younger girl wounded in the buttocks.
Louis turned himself in earlier this week. His surrender was worked out by the man's lawyer and representatives of the anti-violence group CeaseFire after the man's family learned he was being sought by police about Tuesday night's shooting of Tishona Turner, 13, and Nakia Polk, 12.
The head of the CeaseFire group in the area said the organization helped in the surrender after learning Louis' life may be in danger, though he declined to elaborate.
Police said there's been an ongoing internal gang conflict in the area of the shooting.
From another article, video, and interview with one of the victims, Tashona Polk and her mother:
"Gunshots just started going everywhere," 13-year-old Tishona Polk told Fox Chicago's Darlene Hill. "I wasn't scared, I didn't feel nothing, just my body went numb. I wasn't scared."
The shooting happened near 117th and Throop around 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The girls were taking a break on a park bench when one of the girls told police she saw a car riding around slowly, and she knew something bad was going to happen.
Fox Chicago News has learned the boys in the vehicle were gang members allegedly trying to keep their rivals off the block.
Police sources say they fired a couple of shots early in the day, but came back when the park was crowded.
Polk was hit once. Her friend, 12-year-old Nakia Turner, was shot in the stomach.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

17-year old upstate New York girl shoots father over ATM card

Shooter Trinity Copeland, age 17
A 17-year old girl, Trinity Copeland, shot her father to death with a rifle in his Troy, New York, apartment.  They had been arguing over the use of his ATM card.

According to an article:
Trinity Copeland confessed the shooting to investigators, the Times Union of Albany reported.
The newspaper said Trinity called 911 early Friday to report that her father, Harlan Copeland, had been shot in his Troy apartment.
The two had been arguing over Trinity's repeated use of her father's ATM card against his wishes.
The teen told police that her father ordered her to kill him — or he would kill them both, the newspaper reported.
Trinity was arraigned on second-degree murder charges.

Another article goes into deeper details, and Trinity claims that she shot her father after her father threatened to shoot her:

According to her statement, after shooting her father, she opened a window to make it look like someone had entered their home at 3022 Seventh Ave., went upstairs for help and then called police. Harlan Copeland was found at about 4:30 a.m. and declared dead at the scene.

In the statement, Copeland explained that she took her father’s ATM card on July 11 and used it twice at a corner store in Albany, spending $122 the first time and $32 the second. While her father made a formal complaint to Troy police and knew where the money was spent, he didn’t know who spent it. He told his daughter they were going to look at the surveillance tapes from that day.
“I was telling him I was sorry. I told him that I wanted to tell him before he saw it on video,” she said in the statement. “He was like, ‘Don’t want to hear it.’ He told me that he was gonna kill me. He was holding the gun and pointing it at me. My heart was pounding. He said after he killed me he was going to kill himself because he wasn’t going to go to jail for me misbehaving.”

She told police she begged him not to do it and he said he “was going to kill us both or I was going to have to kill him. I said I didn’t want to. He was like then I’m gonna kill you right now. I said no, no, no, no.”

She then said her father gave her the gun and she took it.

“I aimed it and he told me what to say to cover it up,” she said to police. “Then I asked him again ‘please don’t make me kill you, it’s not that serious.’ He was like ‘I’m not going to say it again.’ I was like ‘why do I have to kill you, why do I have to kill you?’

“He said either way he was going to die and he was giving me a way out,” she said. “He laid back on the couch and I aimed it at him. He said do it. I told him that I loved him and that I was sorry. Then I did it. I shot him. I put the gun on the ground and looked at him. I said ‘dad, dad.’”

In the statement, she explained that her father told her to put gloves on before she shot him and she opened a window to make it look like an intruder had done the deed. She then said she grabbed her father’s phone, went upstairs for help and then called the police.

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

11-year old girl shot in face and neck by stray bullet while in home

11-year old Makalah Jones was in her home in Rome, New York, while her mother, April Donaldson, and April's boyfriend were outside on the porch.

A car drove by, slowed down, and then shot at least four times.  One of those bullets entered the home, going through a window, couch, and refrigerator before striking Makalah in the face, neck, and wrist.

Makalah has now been released from the hospital.  The shooter has not been caught.

From an article:
Eleven-year-old Makalah Jones was in the kitchen of her Rome residence Friday night when a bullet struck her cheek, exiting through her neck.
Makalah’s mother, April Donaldson, said she and her boyfriend were sitting out front when a car drove by, slowed and fired off shots, one of which went through the front window, crossed the living room and hit a refrigerator before finally striking her daughter.
Makalah was released from a Utica hospital Saturday after being treated for face, neck and arm injuries. But Donaldson said the incident left her kids shaken and her thinking of moving from the 602 Park Drive home that she’s lived in for six years.
“She thinks that it’s something she did wrong,” Donaldson said of her daughter. “You know, she’s 11-years-old. She just doesn’t understand.”
Neither does Donaldson. And as of Saturday night, city police had not released any information on what might have motivated the attack.
According to another article, the gun used was a 12-gauge shotgun.

A related news article and video, which interviews the girl's mother.  The mother doesn't know why they seem to have been targeted for the drive-by.

Bullets don't know when to stop.

In Minnesota, day care providers can keep guns in the home

Readers of this blog know how many times we write about young children getting access to guns and shooting someone or themselves. There are way too many tragedies with guns and children. Now this article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune reveals that home based day care providers keep guns in their homes and there is not much anyone can do about it. From the article:
At Minnesota's 1,500 licensed child-care centers, guns are banned. Violators can face felony prosecution, with up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The last known gun incident at center-based care occurred in 2004, according to the state Department of Human Services (DHS).
At home-based day care, by contrast, guns are restricted during business hours and must be unloaded and locked away. Penalties are uneven. Some providers who leave guns accessible in their homes are given correction orders but no fines.
In addition, parents who depend on licensed in-home providers are often in the dark about the presence of firearms because state law does not require providers to disclose whether they have guns in their homes. (...) 
Several incidents uncovered by a Star Tribune investigation involved family members or acquaintances of the day care provider. In a 2008 incident at a Lakeville home, someone living at the provider's home set off an improvised explosive device that partially tore off two of the person's fingers. When police arrived at the home after the 4 a.m. blast, they discovered bomb-making materials and a shotgun.
Many of the violations involve providers who leave guns accessible to children. In 2010, a day care provider in Hector, Minn., left a gun propped against the wall of a bedroom where children slept. A provider in a Bloomington home was cited in 2008 and again in 2010 for leaving guns accessible to children in her garage.
Three states -- Michigan, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania -- require in-home providers to notify parents if there are guns in the house, according to a 2008 study by the National Association for Regulatory Administration.
Kerber said his agency will review Minnesota's disclosure policies after questions were raised by the Star Tribune.
Let's hope the policies are very carefully reviewed. There should be no ifs, ands or buts about this one. Small children should not have access to loaded guns-period!

In a related blog post, more examination of this concern is here:
As of 2008, the American Academy of Childhood and Adolescent Psychiatry noted:
Children and Guns
Adopted by Council on October 28, 2000 Updated May, 2008To be reivewed May, 2013 
Children and adolescents have easy access to guns. Over 5% of high school students indicated that they carried a gun in the past month, and it is estimated that approximately one million children bring guns to school each year. Many students who carry guns do so because they are afraid or influenced by peer pressure. 
The United States has the highest rates of firearm-related deaths among industrialized countries, including homicide, suicide and unintentional deaths; young people are often the victims. Gun violence accounts for over 3,000 deaths and over 15,000 injuries each year among children and adolescents. The rate of firearm-related homicides for U.S. children younger than 15 years of age is nearly 16 times greater than the rates in 25 other industrialized countries combined. 
And the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, on their web page notes:
Where and when:
Most unintentional firearm-related deaths among children occur in or around the home; 50 percent at the home of the victim, and 40 percent at the home of a friend or relative.
The presence of a firearm in the home increases the risk of unintentional firearm-related death among children (especially if the firearm is loaded and kept unlocked).
Most unintentional firearm-related child deaths involve guns that were loaded and accessible, and occur when children play with the gun.
More than one-half of firearm owners keep their firearms loaded and ready for use some of the time.
Most unintentional shootings among children occur in the late afternoon, on the weekend, during summer months, and during the holiday season, when children are most likely to be unsupervised.
Rural areas have higher incidences of unintentional firearm-related injuries, as well as higher rates of firearm ownership.
Approximately 3.3 million children in the US live in households with firearms that are, at times, kept loaded and unlocked.
Boys are more likely to suffer unintentional firearm-injuries or die from an unintentional shooting than girls. Nearly 80 percent of children ages 14 and under who die from unintentional shootings are boys.
As many as 75 percent to 80 percent of first and second graders know where their parents' gun is kept.
Some 3-year-olds are strong enough to pull the trigger of many handguns.
Every gun in the hands of a child or teen must first pass through the hands of an adult. Kids and guns are not a good mix.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

3 year old Indiana boy shoots and kills own father

Adults should think about bringing loaded guns with them when they have small children. There has been another shooting by a young child who picked up a loaded gun and accidentally discharged it. This time in Indiana when a 3 year old shot and killed his own father:
Indiana State Police Sgt. Jerry Goodin says the 33-year-old Martinsville man had brought his gun with him Friday to a home he was remodeling in Salem, about 25 miles (40 kilometres) northwest of Louisville, Kentucky.
Goodin says the man, his wife, their three children and a juvenile relative were at the home when the 3-year-old boy apparently found the gun and it accidentally discharged, fatally wounding the man.
Goodin says the case remains under investigation and prosecutors will determine if any adult should face charges. He calls the case a "tragic accident and a tragic mistake" of leaving a gun within a child's reach.
Every gun in the hands of a child or teen must first pass through the hands of an adult.

UPDATE (7/16/12):  The man's name was Michael Bayless.  From another article:

Michael Bayless, 33, was watching TV when his son gained access to the weapon and accidentally fired shots, according to a local ABC outlet. Bayless was pronounced dead on the scene.
No one else was injured.
Indiana State Police Sergeant Jerry Goodin suspects no foul play.
"We think that this is purely a tragic accident that happened," the officer told WLBT.
Neighbors in Salem are devastated at the turn of events. Bill Smith, the owner of a nearby general store, called the incident "a sad day in a nice family's life."
Police will continue to investigate why the weapon was within reach of a 3-year-old.
There are too many "tragic accidents" like this in America.

Friday, July 13, 2012

16-month old girl and mother killed in murder suicide in Oklahoma City by father

Allison Sue Johnston, age 16 months
Tara Shay Johnston, 29, and her 16-month old daughter, Allison Sue Johnston, were found shot to death in their Oklahoma City home.  The father was being sought for the shooting.  He then turned up dead in Las Vegas, Nevada, apparently after killing himself by cutting his wrists and ankles.

From the article:
Investigators in Oklahoma believe Johnston killed his wife and child before flying to Las Vegas on Sunday, according to Fox affiliate KVVU-TV. 
"We thought the marriage was great," Tara Johnston's uncle, Bill Lisby, said in an interview with FoxNews.com.
"We didn’t see anything wrong ... He took care of Tara and the baby. Allison was his pride and joy. He was really liked within the family," said Lisby, who described Johnston as "really polite" and "clean cut." 
Lisby said the couple had met while working together in a restaurant that Johnston had managed. The two have been married for a few years, he said. 
The man's father, Charles Johnston, reportedly wrote on his Facebook page that his son killed himself by cutting his wrists and ankles. 
Police discovered the bodies of Tara Johnston and her daughter after receiving an anonymous tip that two people were dead inside the family's home near Oklahoma City.  
A related article says that they were shot to death, according to the woman's family.

2 year old San Francisco child shoots and kills himself with police officer's gun

The coroner's office has ruled the death of a 2 year old California boy an accident. This awful story shows us again how important it is for anyone who has a loaded gun in the home to make sure it is not accessible to children and teens. From the article:
McCown says Tate picked up an Anderson County sheriff's deputy .38-caliber handgun on a table and shot himself in the head Tuesday.
The boy and his mother were living with the deputy, whose name has not been released. The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the shooting because it involved an officer's weapon.
McCown says the deputy had come home, took off his gun and left to run errands. While he was out, the boy and his mother returned and the child picked up the gun and fired.
Every gun in the hands of a child or teen must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Oklahoma girl shot by 12 year old brother

Once again, we write a story about kids playing with guns. In Oklahoma, a brother and sister were playing with a gun when it went off, hitting the girl in the neck:
Lawton television station KSWO reports that the children were playing with water guns when they discovered their parents' loaded gun Wednesday night.
Undersheriff Stacy Randolph says the boy accidentally shot his younger sister in the neck. Her age wasn't immediately available.
Authorities say the shooting appears to be accidental and that the children were not fighting when the gun went off.
The girl is expected to recover from the bullet wound.

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

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

17-year old girl shot to death while involved in armed home invasion

Emani Puckett, age 17
A 17-year old girl, Emani Puckett, invaded a home in Anderson, South Carolina, with two men.  They attacked the home owner, and a shootout occurred.  Emani was shot and soon died from her wounds, her semi-auto handgun at her side.

The homeowner was hit in the head but is fine.  The two men with Emani escaped, but their names are known to law enforcement.

From an article:

The teenager, Emani Puckett, entered a home on Burris Street in west Anderson along with two men on Sunday night, according to a deputy’s report. 
They had come to rob homeowner Kevin Pierce, 21, who was hit in the head with a handgun by someone in the group, Pierce told deputies. 
Pierce and Puckett struggled in the kitchen while the other men rummaged through the house. In the altercation, Puckett was shot several times, the two men and Pierce’s girlfriend fled the home. 
Puckett was found, barely alive, outside of the mobile home next to a semi-automatic pistol and she died hours later at AnMed Health Medical Center. Pierce was taken to AnMed Health Medical Center, too, and released. 
The other two men fled the home, said Chad McBride, spokesman for the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.

According to another article and video, Emani may have been shot with her own weapon after one of the homeowners wrestled it out of her hands.

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

(image from HERE)

Two girls, 12 and 13 years old, injured in Chicago shooting

Four girls just walking on the street near a park were surprised and scared when shooters opened fire from their speeding car and hit 2 of the girls. From the article:
"The guy just started letting off a lot of gunshots -- pow, pow, pow, pow -- just started shooting," Shorter said. "That's all she heard. . . She was running and ducking at the same time. . . She didn't even know she was shot at first.
"One of the young ladies that was with her, she was wounded real bad," Shorter said. "She was stretched out on the ground."
Tishona suffered a gunshot wound to the buttocks and was treated at a hospital and released.
Nakia was hit twice in the abdomen and was taken in serious-to-critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, according to police and Chicago Fire Department officials. 
As she sat by her daughter's hospital bed this morning, Letha Henderson said the girl was lucky the bullets missed any vital organs.  She underwent surgery overnight, and doctors said there weren't any bullet fragments or internal bleeding. She was expected to return home either tonight or Thursday. (...) 
Police say the girls were not the intended targets, and they were investigating whether the gunman fired on a passing car and hit them instead as they walked from Cooper Park. Authorities said the shooting occurred in an area at the center of an internal conflict involving the Gangster Disciples street gang.
"The gun violence, it has to stop," Shorter said. "These were grammar school kids, walking, just trying to live as young ladies. . .The problem of it is, you have gunshots, bullets going everywhere and the wrong ones are getting shot. It could have been anybody's child. Those are all of our children. It's pretty bad, it's pretty bad. I'm very angry."
The park sits in a residential area largely removed from the violence and shootings that plague the neighborhood east of Halsted Street, according to police records. The police beat that covers the park hasn’t had a fatal shooting since May. And the police district has had six fewer homicides so far this year than it did through the same time last year.
However, there were three other shootings in the West Pullman neighborhood just this week:
• A 16-year-old boy was shot in the 12400 block of South Perry Avenue in the West Pullman neighborhood at about 5 p.m. Monday, Chicago police said. He was standing on the street when shots rang out, police said.
The boy was shot three times and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, according to Chicago Fire Department Media spokesman Larry Langford.
Kids should be able to walk on the streets of our communities without fear of being shot.