Friday, June 21, 2024

Suspect in custody after neighbors say shot North Carolina man and 6-year-old over basketball


A North Carolina man was taken into custody Thursday after he was accused of shooting a man and his 6-year-old daughter for a basketball neighbors said were rolled in his yard.

Authorities in Gaston County, North Carolina, said Robert Louis Singletary, 24, turned himself in to Tampa, Florida, after a search that began Tuesday night.

Singletary to appear in Florida court on Friday for extradition hearing to North Carolina, Gaston County Police said in a statement,

Police said authorities are still investigating the shooting, which happened shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday outside a home in Gastonia, west of Charlotte.

County police have not said what prompted the shooting, and have not confirmed reports that it was over a basketball, citing an ongoing investigation.

County police said Wednesday that Singletary faces charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm.

The 6-year-old had a bullet fragment in her cheek and has been released from the hospital, her mother, Ashley Hilderbrand, told an NBC affiliate WCNC Charlotte’s. Hilderbrand was hit by a bullet, while her husband remains hospitalized. Police said he remains hospitalized in Charlotte in serious condition.

“It was very scary,” Hilderbrand said. “My daughter actually came home last night. She just had a bullet fragment in her cheek. Still, scary, but my husband, he’s still in the hospital.”

Neighbors told WCNC that children were playing outside when a basketball rolled into Singletary’s yard.

Hailey Martin, 17, said in a phone call Thursday that Singletary had been living at the home for less than a month and would complain about having toys and balls on her property. The teenager, who was outside when the shots rang out, said she thought the shot was caused by a ball bouncing in her yard.

“It is sad to see small children scattered here and there and running for their lives,” he said.

“This neighborhood has always been quiet, calm,” she said. “There are always kids running around. We don’t care if the balls reach the yard, because either the kids or the parents will bring the toys back.”

Another neighbor, Jonathan Robertson, told WCNC that he saw Singletary shooting from the house.

“I was yelling for everyone to get down and go inside,” he said.

Gaston County communications director Adam Gobb said at a news conference Wednesday that additional charges could be filed because the bullets hit a nearby home.

Police said a fourth person was shot, but was not hurt during the incident.

Three similar incidents involving gun violence occurred after the shooting apparently harmless mistakes.

Two Texas cheerleaders were shot this week after one of them accidentally got into the wrong vehicle. In New York, a woman was fatally shot after she and some friends pulled into the driveway of a house they thought belonged to another friend, and a teen was shot and wounded in Missouri. Gone when she rang the wrong doorbell while trying to pick up her young child. Brothers