“We are in a state of chaos. In the city in which I live, I hear and see examples of chaos almost every day. Little children are victims of senseless gun violence…”
Two years ago, 11-year-old Milwaukee schoolgirl Sandra Parks wrote these words in an award-winning essay about the murders in her city.
On Monday night, aged 13, she was shot by a stray bullet fired into her home.
Her frantic family called 911, but Sandra died at the scene.
The girl’s mother, Bernice Parks, told police she had gone to bed early while her children watched TV. She woke to the sound of gunshots shortly before 20:00, and found her daughter bleeding on the floor.
“She said, ‘Momma, I’m shot. Call the police,’” Ms Parks told TV station WITI. “I looked at her. She didn’t cry. She wasn’t hollering. She was just so peaceful… She didn’t deserve to leave this world like that.”
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett described the situation as “insanity”, telling reporters: “Tragically, her death was caused by someone who just decided they were going to shoot bullets into her house, and she’s dead. A 13-year-old, on Thanksgiving week, on a school night, in her bedroom, and she died.”
Mr Barrett speculated that the shooter may have wanted to “settle a score, express anger, try to scare someone”, saying on Tuesday: “All we know is that a 13-year-old died last night in her bedroom.”
Midwestern paper the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that one suspect, Isaac D. Barnes, has been charged with homicide and a second man, Untrell Oden, faces two counts for allegedly helping to safeguard two guns.