A Minneapolis family is mourning the death of a 9-year-old girl who was shot in the head while jumping on a trampoline at a friend’s birthday party — one of at least three kids struck by gunfire in the city this month.
Trinity Ottoson-Smith died from her injuries Thursday, nearly two weeks after being hit by a stray bullet in a drive-by shooting that is still under investigation. Officials are offering a reward of up to $30,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case and in the shootings of two other Minneapolis children in recent weeks.
The other victims were 6-year-old Aniya Allen, who died on May 19 after being shot while sitting in her family’s car, and 10-year-old Ladavionne Garrett Jr., who was hospitalized after being shot in the head while also sitting in a car, news station WCCO reported.
Dozens of activists and local politicians took to the streets Sunday to call for peace and support the three grieving families.
“We just need prayers,” Ladavionne’s father told the station. “We need all the prayers. We don’t need no negativity. We don’t need none of that.”
Trinity, who was in the hospital for 12 days, was at a friend’s 9th birthday party in North Minneapolis when the unknown shooter opened fire from a four-door red Ford, authorities said. The shooter’s intended target is still unclear, but police believe Trinity was hit by a stray bullet.
“She did not deserve this,” her mother, Nicole Ottoson, said in a GoFundMe campaign created before the girl died from her injuries.
“She has plans to change the world. She wants to be a teacher,” Ottoson wrote. “She loves making Tik Toks, doing art, doing makeup, playing Roblox with her friends, playing with her siblings, going on adventures, riding her bike, playing soft ball and basketball and doing gymnastics. She has been my shadow. Everyone who knows Trinity loves her.”
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the city would continue to “work toward accountability, justice, and prevention” amid an alarming rise in gun violence.
“No parent should ever have to say goodbye to their child,” he tweeted after Trinity’s death. “To feel outrage and sadness for Trinity’s family is to be human. Today, we hold them close in our hearts.”