A Wisconsin girl who wrote an award-winning essay on gun violence died after she was hit by a stray bullet inside her home, WISN reports.
Prosecutors said that Isaac Barnes and Untrell Oden were walking in 13-year-old Sandra Parks’ neighborhood when Barnes began “shooting at an unknown target.”
One of the bullets went through Parks’ bedroom window and hit her in the chest, killing her.
After the shooting, a woman who identified herself as Barnes’ ex-girlfriend told police that Barnes had run up to her wearing a mask and an “AK-47” style weapon and threatened to shoot her.
Police found Barnes hiding in a closet in a nearby home. Oden was in the home as well.
Barnes’ gun was matched to the casings found outside of Parks’ home.
Prosecutors have not determined a motive.
Bernes was charged with reckless homicide. Oden was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon.
Mayor condemns gun violence:
“It’s just insanity,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters. “You’re never going to solve a fight with a gun. You’re never going to settle the score with a gun. But you see it over and over and over again in this country.”
Parks won award for her essay on gun violence: Sandra was an 8th-grade student at Keefe Avenue School. In 6th grade, she won an award for her Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Contest essay titled “Our Truth.”
The essay said:
Sometimes, I sit back and I have to escape from what I see and hear every day. I put my headphones on and let the music take me away. I move to the beat and try to think about life and what everything means. When I do; I come to the same conclusion … we are in a state of chaos. In the city in which I live, I hear and see examples of chaos almost everyday. Little children are victims of senseless gun violence. There is too much black on black crime. As an African-American, that makes me feel depressed. Many people have Lost faith in America and its ability to be a living example of Dr. King’s dream!
The truth is faith and hope in what people can do, has been lost in the poor choices we make. We shall overcome has been lost in the lie of who we have become! So now, the real truth is, we need to rewrite our story so that faith and hope for a better tomorrow, is not only within us, but we believe it and we put it into actions.
Our first truth is that we must start caring about each other. We need to be empathetic and try to walk in each other’s shoes. We shall overcome when we eliminate the negative and nasty comments people make about each other. We shall overcome, when we love ourselves and the people around us. Then, we become our brothers keeper.
Our second truth is that we need to have purpose. We are the future generation, therefore we must have an education to make a positive difference in the world. We are the future leaders, but if we don’t have an education, we will accomplish nothing. We will overcome, when we use our education to make the world a better place. We will become the next President, law enforcement officers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and lawmakers. We cannot continue to put the responsibility on other people. It is our responsibility as future leaders!
We must not allow the lies of violence, racism, and prejudice to be our truth. The truth begins with us. Instead of passing each other like ships in the night, we must fight until our truths stretch to the ends of the world.