A North Carolina man allegedly shot a 6-year-old girl and her parents after a basketball rolled into his yard earlier this week, prompting an ongoing manhunt for his arrest, WSOC-TV reports.
Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, a group of children was playing near April Drive and Grier Street in Gastonia County, just west of Charlotte, when the basketball bounced into the yard of Robert Louis Singletary.
In response, the 24-year-old allegedly went into his home to retrieve a gun and then began firing.
Singletary reportedly ran down the street shooting at a neighbor and then unloaded bullets toward the girl, Kinsley White, and her parents, Ashley Hilderbrand and William White.
Kinsley was struck by bullet fragments that required stitches on her face, while her father, William, attempted to draw the gunfire toward him in an effort to protect the children before he was shot in the back. He remains hospitalized in critical condition with a punctured lung and is also having issues with his liver, according to WBTV.
“We don’t even know the man,” the girl told WSOC-TV. “Why did you shoot my daddy and me? Why did you shoot a kid’s dad?”
A bullet grazed Hilderbrand, who is recovering with her daughter at home. She alleges that the gunman told them he would kill them during the terrifying ordeal.
“He looked at my husband and my daughter and told them, ‘I’m going to kill you,’” Hilderbrand said in an interview with WSOC-TV.
Witnesses reported that Singletary continued to fire the gun until there were no more bullets. Another man was reportedly shot at during the attack but escaped without physical injury.
Neighbor Jonathan Robertson told WBTV that Singletary had been known for yelling at kids who lived in the area.
Authorities have charged Singletary with four counts of first-degree attempted murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflict serious injury, in addition to one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. More charges are expected because he fired bullets into neighbors’ homes.
Police are searching for Singletary, who is believed to be armed, and offering $1,000 for information that leads to his location and arrest. He is described as 6-foot-2 and 223 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.
In December, Singletary was accused of striking his 21-year-old girlfriend in the head using a mini-sledgehammer, according to WSOC-TV. He was released from custody on bond in that case.
“I want to say to the people of Gaston County — this sort of violence will not stand,” Police Chief Stephen Zill said in a written statement.
“My number one priority as chief is to make sure each and every one of our citizens is safe. Every person in every part of our county deserves that same opportunity, and it is our priority to make that a reality.”
To report information about Singletary’s whereabouts, call Gaston County Police at 704-866-3320 or Crime Stoppers at 704-861-8000.
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[Feature Photo: Robert Louis Singletary/Gaston County Police Department]