Home » NEW; Shooter of a 6 year old and her parents has been apprehended in Florida

NEW; Shooter of a 6 year old and her parents has been apprehended in Florida

by Narges Mohammadi

NORTHCAROLINA/ Robert Louis Singletary, the suspect accused of shooting a 6-year-old neighbor and her parents in North Carolina after a basketball rolled into his yard, was apprehended and is in custody in Hillsborough County, Florida, according to Gaston County, North Carolina, spokesperson Adam J. Gaub.

Jail records show Singletary, 24, was arrested Thursday afternoon, ending a manhunt in which police described the suspect as armed and dangerous.

The suspect turned himself in to authorities, according to a news release from Gaston County. He did not have any identification on him, was processed by the Hillsborough County sheriff’s office and his identity was confirmed just before 7 p.m.

He appeared in a Florida courtroom Friday and waived his right to fight extradition, according to a Hillsborough County court spokesperson.

It’s unclear when Singletary will be extradited to Gaston County_Florida.

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 CNN affiliate WBTV. “I mean that was insane.”

The 6-year-old girl, Kinsley, 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 Hilderbrand, told CNN 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.

Hilderbrand learned of the suspect’s arrest Thursday night when CNN contacted her for comment. She said via text she was glad and couldn’t “believe he made it all the way to Florida.”

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.

The shootings reflect the consequences of a country with more civilian guns than people, according to the Small Arms Survey, and the toxic stew of fear, paranoia and distrust that influences so many and leads to violence.

In the Gaston County shooting, the father – identified by family as William “Jamie” White – was seriously injured and remains hospitalized, police Chief Stephen Zill said Wednesday evening in a statement.

“He is just taking it day by day,” White’s mother, Debbie Wykle White, told CNN over a text message. “He’s in a lot of pain.”

The girl and her mother have been treated and released, police said. Another man also was shot at but not hurt, police said in a news release.

verified GoFundMe page for the family had raised more than $11,000 by Thursday night.

Neighbors say suspect had yelled at children before

For Singletary, police secured warrants for four counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, police said.

“I want to say to the people of Gaston County – this sort of violence will not stand,” Zill said earlier, adding the US Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force helped in the hunt for Singletary.

Several neighbors at the scene told CNN that Singletary had moved into his house a few weeks ago and since then had often yelled at kids for being in his yard.

They described him as acting like he “hated children” in the neighborhood, often angry about them playing in and running through his yard, and he had several issues with kids and their parents.

One neighbor – who didn’t want her name to be used – told CNN he had complained to her about the kids running through his yard a little before the shooting happened. She said she informed him her grandson was already inside and he left.

In Tuesday’s shooting, the father who confronted Singletary ran away and was not injured, the neighbors said.

Robertson, who lives across the street, and another neighbor said Singletary got a “look in his eyes” and started walking in the direction of other parents and kids and began shooting.

The neighbors described Singletary as having his arm stretched out, just “shooting, pow, pow, pow” as he went down the street. They said the scene was chaotic, as kids and parents were running through yards trying to get to safety.

The neighbors were all very nervous before Singletary was caught and several told CNN they did not sleep out of fear.

Singletary was charged in December with assault and kidnapping for allegedly attacking his girlfriend with a mini-sledgehammer and keeping her inside his apartment for over two hours, police said in a statement.

The charges are pending and he has not entered a plea in the case, Gaston County Superior Court clerk Jennifer Davis said. Singletary was released on a $250,000 bond on December 15, records show.

Source: CNN News Agency

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