Suspect Surrenders After Shooting 6-Year-Old Girl Over Wayward Basketball: Cops
A 24-year-old man surrendered to authorities on Thursday after a nearly two-day manhunt following a shooting in a North Carolina neighborhood that left a little girl and her parents wounded, county officials said.Robert Louis Singletary was taken into custody in Tampa, Florida, just before 5 p.m., according to a statement from the Gaston County Police
A 24-year-old man surrendered to authorities on Thursday after a nearly two-day manhunt following a shooting in a North Carolina neighborhood that left a little girl and her parents wounded, county officials said.
Robert Louis Singletary was taken into custody in Tampa, Florida, just before 5 p.m., according to a statement from the Gaston County Police Department. Though he was not carrying any identification, Tampa law enforcement was able to confirm his identity shortly after. The exact circumstances of his arrest were not immediately known.
“Although Mr. Singletary is in custody, the investigation into this shooting is ongoing,” the release read.
Singletary’s arrest was first reported by NBC News.
Authorities have yet to announce a possible motive in the Tuesday evening shooting, but the neighborhood’s residents have said that Singletary was set off by children playing in the street.
“They were playing basketball and a ball rolled into his yard and they went to go and get it,” neighbor Jonathan Robertson told WBTV. “It was just crazy.”
Singletary allegedly yelled at the kids who went to retrieve the ball, neighbors said. Shortly after, the father of one of the children approached him about the issue.
Singletary “got a look in his eyes,” two neighbors told CNN. He then walked back inside his house and emerged with a gun, they said.
He opened fire wildly, chasing residents until he ran out of bullets, witnesses told said.
“It’s sad to see little kids scatter, running for their lives,” a teen who lived in the neighborhood told NBC News.
As parents ran to save their children, a bullet fragment hit a six-year-old girl, identified as Kinsley White, in her left cheek.
“I couldn’t get inside in time so he shot my daddy in the back,” Kinsley, who was released from a local hospital overnight, explained to WBTV.
Her father, William James White, remained hospitalized “in serious condition” on Thursday, the sheriff’s office said.
Kinsley’s mother, Ashley Hildebrand, was grazed by a bullet and treated at the scene. She told CNN on Wednesday that the family had not been involved in the basketball game, and that they’d been outside grilling while Kinsley rode her bike.
A fourth person unrelated to the family, Derrick Kenneth Prather, was shot at but not hit.
Several neighbors told CNN that Singletary, who had lived in the neighborhood for less than a month, acted like he “hated kids.” He frequently became irate when they ran through his yard, and had had issues with other families on the block in the past.
He faces four counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of possession of a firearm, police previously said.
Singletary was also arrested as recently as December, when he was charged with assault and kidnapping after allegedly attacking his girlfriend with a mini sledgehammer, trapping her inside his apartment until she agreed to clean up the evidence of the incident.
He was released on a $25src,srcsrcsrc bond in this week’s case, and has not entered a plea, a Gaston County Superior Court clerk said.
“I want him to go to jail forever,” Kinsley said.
The incident follows a handful of other high-profile shootings involving young victims making common mistakes or misunderstandings. On Monday, two high school cheerleaders were wounded by gunfire in Texas after one of them tried to get into the alleged gunman’s car, thinking it was hers.
On Saturday, a 2src-year-old woman was fatally wounded when a man in upstate New York allegedly fired upon a car she was in after the driver mistakenly pulled into his driveway while searching for a friend’s house.
Two days before that, Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old honors student, was shot twice by a Kansas City homeowner after he rang the man’s doorbell, believing his younger brothers were inside and waiting to be picked up.