“What did I do wrong?”
That was the question a 9-year-old, Sinai Miller, asked after she was shot on Tuesday in Indianapolis while selling Girl Scout cookies.
She had only just left her apartment with her sisters around 4 p.m. to knock on neighbors’ doors when a blue Ford Expedition drove past on the street out front. An arm stuck out. It held a gun.
“They walked outside the door, and they didn’t even get to make it across the lot and then the shots start ringing out,” Mark Chandler, the boyfriend of the girl’s mother, told Fox 13.
He rushed downstairs to see what had happened, and even now has trouble reconciling the scene. “I came downstairs and she was sitting over there, and that’s her little boot, and that’s the blood,” he added. “It’s just ridiculous. She’s 9 years old, man. She’s very smart. She don’t know nothing about no guns or no shots or whatever.”
The child was struck in her lower left calf and was taken to a nearby children’s hospital. Her condition has since stabilized, reported the Indianapolis Star. But her community was shaken.
“The type of community this is, it’s kid friendly and for this to happen apparently with no direction, they was just shooting,” resident Tamera Williams told the TV station.
There are few leads on any suspects. Police told local media they don’t know how many people were in the blue SUV or whether the driver was the shooter or who his target was. Witnesses said the person who held the gun fired indiscriminately while children played nearby. Police suspect Sinai was struck by a stray bullet, which wasn’t intended for her.
Now the Girls Scouts of Central Indiana are trying to come to grips with the violence. The center has launched a drive called “Cookies for Sinai.” “We cannot complete our mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place, when they are afraid to play in their own neighborhoods,” said Deborah Hearn Smith, chief executive of Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, as the Indy Star reported.
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