A manhunt is underway near Charlotte, North Carolina, for a man who reportedly shot a 6-year-old neighbor and her parents after a basketball rolled into his yard.
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Robert Louis Singletary, 24, should be considered armed and dangerous, Gaston County Police said. He’s 6-foot-2 and about 223 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.
According to several neighbors, the incident began Tuesday when a basketball rolled into Singletary’s yard and he yelled at the kids who went to retrieve it. One of the kids told his father, who then went to Singletary’s house and said something to the effect of “stop cussing my kid out, if you got a problem come to me and we can work it out,” according to three neighbors.
Singletary then walked inside, came out with a gun and opened fire at the neighbors, wounding a 6-year-old girl and her parents, the neighbors said.
“We never expected anybody would break a gun out amongst all those kids,” neighbor Jonathan Robertson told to the source. “I mean that was insane.”
The 6-year-old girl said she was hit in the cheek and described to WBTV her understanding of what happened.
“I couldn’t get inside in time so he shot my daddy in the back,” she said.
The girl’s mother, Ashley Hildebrand, told that doctors removed bullet fragments from her daughter’s cheek and noted that her own elbow was grazed by a bullet. She said they had nothing to do with the basketball game; the family was outside grilling and her daughter was riding her bike.
Police would not confirm what started the Tuesday night shooting in Gastonia, citing the investigation.
The incident was another case in the past week in which young people were shot after making a common blunder, including two teen cheerleaders mistakenly approaching someone else’s vehicle in a Texas grocery store parking lot, a 16-year-old who rang the wrong doorbell in Kansas City and a 20-year-old who turned into the wrong New York driveway.