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The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Maya Yang

Suspect in shooting of six-year-old over stray basketball arrested in Florida

Kinsley White, six, shows reporters a wound left on her face, in Gastonia, North Carolina, on Thursday.
Kinsley White, six, shows reporters a wound left on her face, in Gastonia, North Carolina, on Thursday. Photograph: Kara Fohner/AP

The North Carolina man who is accused of shooting a six-year-old girl along with her parents after a basketball with which the child was playing rolled into his yard is not resisting being transferred to his home state after being arrested in Florida.

After his arrest on Thursday in Tampa, Florida, 24-year-old Robert Louis Singletary made a court appearance on Friday during which he was asked whether he would sign the extradition waiver that would allow officials to transport him back to North Carolina, where the shooting occurred two days earlier.

“Indeed,” Singletary said to the Hillsborough county judge Catherine Catlin, according to the local news station Fox 13.

The court hearing came just two days after Singletary allegedly fired shots at children and their parents after the youths attempted to retrieve a basketball that rolled into his yard in a neighborhood in Gastonia, North Carolina.

“As soon as I saw him coming out shooting, I was hollering at everybody to get down and get inside,” neighbor Jonathan Robertson told the Associated Press, adding that since Singletary moved to the neighborhood, he had yelled at the children on several occasions.

Kinsley White, six, was wounded on her left cheek while her father, William White, was shot in the back after he rushed to her aid, her grandfather Carl Hildebrand told the Associated Press. Kinsley’s mother, Ashley Hildebrand, was wounded in the elbow.

Robert Louis Singletary.
Robert Louis Singletary. Photograph: AP

According to reports, Kinsley had to have stitches as a result of bullet fragments lodged in her cheeks. She and her mother have both been released. Gaston county police said that White remained in serious condition at a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Singletary had allegedly also fired shots at another man but missed, authorities said. He fled the state and surrendered to authorities in Tampa on Thursday afternoon.

Investigators are charging him with four counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill inflicting serious injury, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Catlin said that she plans to hold another hearing about Singletary’s arrest if North Carolina officials do not retrieve him by Monday.

Before allegedly shooting the Whites and Hildebrand, Singletary had been out on bond after he was charged with attacking a woman with a sledgehammer last December.

The victim told Gastonia police that Singletary had kept her inside his apartment for more than two hours after the alleged attack during which he struck her in the back of the head with the weapon.

Police said that Singletary did not allow her to leave his apartment until she had cleaned up all evidence of the attack, WSOC-TV reported last December.

The shootings with which Singletary has been charged came six days after Ralph Yarl, 16, was shot in a separate and unrelated case by a man after ringing the man’s doorbell in Kansas City, Missouri.

On 18 April, in another separate and unrelated case, 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis was shot and killed by an upstate New York resident after the car she was riding in accidentally pulled into the wrong driveway.

And days after Gillis was killed, a man in Texas is alleged to have shot and injured two cheerleaders, Payton Washington and Heather Roth, after one almost got into his parked car by mistake, according to reports.

The various cases other than the one involving Singletary have also led to arrests and have trained a global spotlight on US gun culture.

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