Police are searching for a man they say opened fire on his neighbors — a six-year-old girl and her father — after the child chased a basketball that had rolled into the man’s yard.
Robert Louis Singletary, 24, is believed to have shot Kinsley White, 6, and her father William White on Tuesday evening. According to local ABC affiliate WSOC, several young children were playing basketball in a neighborhood south of Gastonia, some 22 miles west of Charlotte, when a ball rolled down the street and into Singletary. An angry Singletary reportedly ran down the street, firing a gun at a neighbor.
Witnesses reportedly said that Singletary then began shooting at William White as he was running with Kinsley.
WSOC reported that Kinsley sustained bullet fragments to her cheek, requiring stitches. Her father’s injuries, however, are more severe, and police confirmed to Law&Crime on Thursday that he is still hospitalized and in serious condition.
Kinsley’s mother, Ashley Hilderbrand, told WSOC that she was outside at the time, and she heard Singletary threaten her family.
“He looked at my husband and my daughter and told them, ‘I’m going to kill you,'” Hilderbrand said.
Hildebrand was reportedly grazed by a bullet and has returned home.
Local police say Singletary is still at large.
“One adult victim in this case remains hospitalized in Charlotte and we are in prayer for his continued recovery,” the Gaston County Police Department said Wednesday in a statement on Facebook. “The juvenile that was shot, as well as the second adult that was grazed by a bullet, have been treated and released.”
In an interview, Kinsley expressed distress and confusion over the situation.
“Why did you shoot my daddy and me?” the child asked in an interview with WSOC. “Why did you shoot a kid’s dad?”
“Why did you shoot me? Why did you shoot my dad?”
6 yo Kinsley White has stitches from bullet fragments in her cheek. @gastoncountypd say Robert Singletary is on the run after firing shots on April Dr. last night. Kinsley’s mother & father were hit by shots too. The mom is home. pic.twitter.com/QAhw6XcZ1W
— Ken (@kenlemonWSOC9) April 19, 2023
Police have issued warrants for Singletary on 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.
Federal authorities are also allegedly involved.
“I want to say to the people of Gaston County – this sort of violence will not stand,” Police Department Chief Stephen M. Zill said in the statement. “We conducted a large-scale search overnight for Mr. Singletary and we have partnered with the United States Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force to aid us as we continue to search.”
Gaston County officials say that Singletary “was last seen with a gun, and should be considered armed and dangerous.”
Singletary is not unknown to Gastonia police. In December, he was accused of attacking his 21-year-old girlfriend with a mini-sledgehammer, WSOC had previously reported. The victim reportedly told police that she was at Singletary’s apartment when he struck her in the back of the head with the hammer. She said she felt dizzy and disoriented and could feel heavy bleeding from the back of her head.
According to WSCO, citing police, Singletary didn’t allow the victim to leave the apartment where he allegedly assaulted her until she had cleaned up all evidence of the attack. She then drove herself to the hospital and called authorities. Singletary was charged with assault with intent to inflict serious injury, kidnapping, and communicating threats.
The shootings of Kinsley and William White are the latest in an apparent string of alarming — and sometimes deadly — attacks on people who mistakenly find themselves in the wrong place. Kaylin A. Gillis, 20, was allegedly shot to death in upstate New York on Saturday by Kevin D. Monahan, 65, after the car she was in mistakenly pulled into the man’s driveway. Monahan allegedly fired twice into the vehicle in which Gillis was a passenger; three other people were also in the car, and they were reportedly looking for a friend’s home in the area. Monahan has been charged with murder.
Ralph Yarl, 16, was shot twice by Andrew D. Lester after mistakenly going to the man’s house Thursday night, April 13. Yarl’s aunt has said that the boy had meant to go to a friend’s nearby home to pick up his younger twin brothers. Lester has been charged with assault.
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