At Least 6 Black Children Fatally Shot Across The U.S. During July 4 Weekend
The children were all engaging in innocent acts when they were gunned down.
July 07, 2020 at 8:52 pm
During the Fourth of July weekend, at least six Black children were killed from gun violence in multiple states.
In Illinois, the city of Chicago experienced a violent weekend with 64 people injured and 15 killed. Eleven of the victims were minors, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
"We cannot grow numb to this. We are making progress in slowing shootings, but we have to do better, every single one of us," Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted in response to the killing of a child over the weekend.
Here are the victims killed over the weekend:
Natalia Wallace was outside playing with a group of kids in a Chicago neighborhood on July 4 when she was struck by gunfire.
CNN reported three people exited a vehicle and started firing shots at a nearby group.
The 7-year-old was shot in the head and transported to a local hospital where she died from her injuries.
CHILD KILLED: 7-year-old Natalia Wallace was shot & killed in the 100 block of North Latrobe, West Side on July 4, 2020. Her father is struggling with the question of why did this happen. Seen/heard anything tip at https://t.co/25lna6MWeL. Our condolences. #chicagostreetcrime pic.twitter.com/zlf2mF3rXd— LEGAL HELP FIRM ⚖️ (@lhfirm) July 5, 2020
"Kids outside playing, they shouldn't have to worry about guns and people shooting," Natalia's father, Nathan Wallace, told WBBM.
Lightfoot pleaded with the community to come forward with information about the shooting.
"Tonight, a 7-year-old in Austin joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun," Lightfoot said in a tweet. "As a city, we must wrap our arms around our youth so they understand there's a future for them that isn't wrapped up in gun violence."
Tonight, a 7-year-old girl in Austin joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun.— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 5, 2020
According to CNN, an unidentified 14-year-old was also shot and killed on July 4 in Chicago.
Eleven-year-old Davon McNeal was gunned down in southeast Washington D.C. Saturday night while he was visiting family, CNN reported.
A group of five men started shooting as Davon was walking toward his aunt's house to get a phone charger.
Davon McNeal💔💔. He could’ve been the next Lamar Jackson or the next Barack Obama, but some suckas took his life. A child only 11 years young with his full life ahead of him. Wtf 😓😓. We gonna keep your name and legacy alive youngin I promise you that! Justice for #DavonMcNeal! pic.twitter.com/tfZTjuGZIp— Quinn Cook (@QCook323) July 6, 2020
His grandfather, John Ayala, said McNeal's mom heard the gunshots and thought her son was crouching to avoid the bullets when he ducked down. She soon realized her son had been struck in the head.
"His mom was just crying, 'My baby! They took my baby!'" Ayala said.
Ayala founded the DC chapter of Guardian Angels, a New York-based nonprofit geared toward safely patroling communities and improving the quality of life.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a $25,000 reward in hopes of identifying the suspects.
Royta De'Marco Giles
In Alabama, an 8-year-old was killed as a group of men exchanged gunfire inside of a mall on Friday.
Royta De'Marco Giles was struck during the crossfire and was one of four bystanders who was hit.
BREAKING UPDATE: 8-year-old Royta Giles has been identified as one of the shooting victims today at the Riverchase Galleria. pic.twitter.com/W7uqz38yro— WBRC FOX6 News (@WBRCnews) July 4, 2020
A statement from Bessemer City Schools to CNN revealed Royta had just finished second grade.
"Our hearts are simply broken at the tragic loss of Giles. We are here for the family in every way possible, and we ask that everyone lifts the mother, family, and our school community in your prayers. This is tough," Bessemer City Schools Superintendent Dr. Autumm Jeter said.
We continue to work tirelessly on this case.— Hoover Police Dept (@HooverPD) July 6, 2020
If you recognize any of these 5 individuals, please let us know. Turn them in.
• Sgt. Savage 2057396780
• HPD Dispatch 2058225300
• Remain anonymous qualify for a cash reward: @CSMetroAL #hooverpd pic.twitter.com/mCvsmKJX0v
A suspect in the shooting has been identified, and police are searching for several other persons of interest connected to Royta's death.
Family members identified a 6-year-old boy killed in San Francisco over the weekend as Jace Young.
Local news outlet KRON 4 reported Jace was watching fireworks with his family when he was hit with a stray bullet.
He was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.
Police Chief Bill Scott said it was unclear if the shots were aimed at the group or fired into the air, CBS San Francisco reported.
Scott said the bullets didn't originate "at the location where the immediate family was."
Jace's family started a GoFundMe fundraiser for his funeral expenses and spoke about the young boy's personality on the campaign page.
“Who would have ever thought that a 'celebration' would turn into a 'tragedy,'” Jace’s family said. “The kid who could brighten up a room with his smile and blue glasses. His love for technology and always wanting to be around all of his family and friends."
You can donate to Jace's GoFundMe campaign here.
In Atlanta — just blocks away from where Rayshard Brooks was gunned down by police — Secoriea Turner was riding in the car with her family when she was struck by a bullet.
The 8-year-old was inside of a car, and shots were fired at the vehicle when the driver attempted to pull into a parking lot.
According to police, a group of people had placed illegal barricades in the parking lot, CNN reported.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms asked anyone with information to come forward and announced a $10,000 reward.
"I am asking you to please honor this baby's life. Please, if you know who did this, please turn them in," Bottoms said.
"We're fighting the enemy within when we are shooting each other up in our streets," the mayor added. "You shot and killed a baby. And it wasn't one shooter, there was at least two shooters," she said.
Bottoms urged people fighting against police brutality to have the same passion for ending gun violence in their communities.
"We've had over 75 shootings in the city over the past several weeks," Bottoms said. "You can't blame that on [the Atlanta Police Department]."