To a group of children whose ball rolled into a neighbour’s garden, popping over to retrieve it probably seemed an innocent affair.
Little did they know it would escalate into the latest example of gun-toting Americans’ swiftness to pull the trigger in seemingly mundane circumstances.
For not only did their neighbour Robert Singletary, 24, shout at them, he went into his house and emerged with a gun before allegedly firing wildly at residents who came to the scene in Gaston County, North Carolina, on Tuesday.
Six-year-old Kinsley White was grazed by a bullet in her cheek and her mother, Ashley, suffered a minor wound to her elbow. But her father William suffered serious injuries when he was shot in the back.
‘We don’t know the man,’ said Kinsley. ‘Why did you shoot my daddy and me? Why did you shoot a kid’s dad?’
Six-year-old Kinsley White was grazed by a bullet in her cheek after a ball rolled into a neighbour’s garden
Payton Washington was shot and her friend injured after accidentally getting into the wrong car on the way home from practice in Texas
It was the fourth in a string of similarly senseless incidents across the US in the space of just five days.
Together, they show how the country’s endless gun violence nightmare is typified not only by the horrific massacres that grab the headlines but by the far more frequent daily calamities in which the most innocent mistakes or misunderstandings are met with lethal force.
The US is the only country in the world where civilian-owned guns outnumber citizens – 120.5 firearms for every 100 people, with about 44 per cent of US adults living in a household with a gun.
Ralph Yarl, a black 16-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri, was the first victim of this latest string of mindless shootings. Just over a week ago on April 13, he was sent by his mother to collect his twin younger brothers from a friend’s home around 10pm.
But he got the address mixed up and rang the doorbell of Andrew Lester, 84, who was going to bed.
Hather Roth was injured after accidentally getting into the wrong car after practice in Texas
Ralph Yarl, a black 16-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri, was the first victim of this latest string of mindless shootings. Just over a week ago on April 13, he was sent by his mother to collect his twin younger brothers from a friend’s home around 10pm
Lester appeared at his front door with his revolver and, according to Ralph, they did not exchange any words before he opened fire. The teenager was hit first in the head and then in the arm before running away.
Lester claimed Ralph was pulling on the door handle and he thought he was trying to break in but the teenager, who survived the shooting, insists he was not.
Prosecutors who have charged Lester with first-degree assault and armed criminal action have stressed the victim didn’t ‘cross the threshold’ into the home.
That detail is crucial to America’s controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ rules, a patchwork of state laws that give considerable freedom to people to use their guns against intruders inside their homes but not outside.
Such a distinction was irrelevant two days later when Kaylin Gillis, 20, was fatally shot after she and some friends accidentally drove up the drive of Kevin Monahan in the upstate New York town of Hebron while looking for a friend’s house.
Kaylin Gillis, 20, was fatally shot after she and some friends accidentally drove up the drive of Kevin Monahan in the upstate New York town of Hebron while looking for a friend’s house
Police say nobody got out of the group’s two cars and, having realised their mistake, they had turned around to leave when two shots rang out. Miss Gillis, who was in the front passenger seat of the last vehicle to turn, was hit and later died in hospital.
Monahan, 65, who neighbours said had a reputation for being bad tempered, was charged with second-degree murder.
Three days later four high school students were heading home from cheerleading practice shortly after midnight when one of them, Heather Roth, accidentally got into the wrong car outside a supermarket in Elgin, Texas, thinking it belonged to a friend.
When she realised there was a man she didn’t know in the passenger seat, she said she quickly got out. After she got into the right car, she saw the man – identified by police as Pedro Rodriguez, 25 – approaching and said she wound down her window to apologise. Police say an argument developed and the gunman fired half a dozen rounds as the cheerleaders drove away.
Miss Roth was grazed by a bullet and was treated at the scene but another girl in the car, Payton Washington, 18, was hit in the back and leg, suffering serious injuries.
Rodriguez has been charged with deadly conduct.
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12001075/US-gun-madness-five-innocent-youngsters-shot-just-five-days-trigger-happy-Americans.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490&rand=1270