Girl, 13, who wrote an essay about gun violence was shot dead by a stray bullet
On Monday night, tragedy struck for a young girl in Milwaukee who wrote an essay about gun violence two years ago. "She was everything this world is not," her mother said.
The Wisconsin Public Radio reported that Sandra Parks, only 13, died from a stray bullet that entered her home while she was watching television. Just two years prior, the young girl wrote an award-winning essay on gun violence.
Not knowing what was to come at the time, Sandra wrote words that will linger with her community's members more so now with her passing. "We are in a state of chaos," the then sixth-grader wrote.
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Sandra Parks, a 13-year-old Milwaukee girl who was killed when someone fired a bullet into her home Monday, wrote an award-winning essay 2 years ago about the "senseless gun violence" killing kids in her city.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 22, 2018
"We are in a state of chaos," Sandra wrote. https://t.co/NMJb7G9DFe
In what would later turn out to be a horrific irony, Sandra wrote:
"In the city in which I live, I hear and see examples of chaos almost every day. Little children are victims of senseless gun violence."
The essay entitled "Our Truth was also a commemoration the life of Reverand Martin Luther King Jr, continued:
"Many people have lost faith in America and its ability to be a living example of Dr. King's dream!"
The Keefe Avenue School student was not likely the intended target of the bullet that came through her house window at 2700 block of North 13th Street.
On Tuesday, police were tipped off and took a 26-year-old Milwaukee man into custody as a person of interest. Later that day, they questioned another man, 27 years old.
Sandra's mother Bernice Parks, mourned her daughter saying, "my baby was not violent. My baby did not like violence."
"Everybody she knew, everybody that came past, she made them happy. She didn't like for nobody to be sad or down. She was my angel from the time she was in my womb."
Tatiana Ingram is Sandra's sister who was right there when the bullet pierced her chest.
Sandra Parks, a Milwaukee 13-year-old, was shot and killed inside her home Monday night. She wrote this essay about gun violence two years ago...https://t.co/L1kzQiPnQJ— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) November 21, 2018
She described how her sister was strong:
“My sister took it like a soldier: She just walked in the room and said, ‘Mama, I’m shot.’ ”
The soldier was also a future leader and left wise words for her family, friends, and peers. She wrote in the essay:
“We are the future leaders, but if we don’t have an education, we will accomplish nothing."
Along with several family friends, city officials also grieved the death of the young girl. Mayor Tom Barrett spoke at a news conference in the city hall.
A 13-year-old Milwaukee girl who was killed when someone fired a bullet into her home Monday night wrote an award-winning essay two years ago about the "senseless gun violence" killing kids in her city. https://t.co/ZyBgb2Ir8C pic.twitter.com/YqtjIQHVG7— The Trace (@teamtrace) November 20, 2018
In addition to attributing lack of sensible gun control measures, he said: "Innocent people die. And Sandra Parks is one of those victims."
Barrett used an appropriate term for the high level of killings in urban areas:
"We have the slow-motion mass murders in urban areas, and we've got the huge tragedies that capture the nation's attention in nightclubs, in churches. And they're all horrific."
The mayor thought about his own family:
"It breaks my heart to stand here, as a dad. It breaks my heart. It's just, it's very hard. And I shake my head. This is just insanity."
District representative Russell W. Stamper II called the situation "horrible" and spoke for many when he said, "we're tired of it."
"Violence prevention is something we have to be committed to year-round. And it's something that each resident needs to be committed to in your social networks, in your families."
A 13-year-old girl who wrote an award-winning essay about gun violence was killed by a stray bullet on Monday night https://t.co/Mhvkl76nDz— CNN (@CNN) November 22, 2018
Sandra's essay was featured on WPR's "The Kathleen Dunn Show" back in 2017. When asked why she chose gun violence as her topic, Sandra said:
"All you hear about is somebody dying or somebody getting shot and people do not just think about whose father or son or granddaughter or grandson who it was that was just killed."
She came in third place at the citywide celebration at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.
A school district spokeswoman said that 12 students became homicide victims in the past two years. This year alone, seven students including Sandra were killed.
Sandra had dreams of going to college and becoming a writer according to her mom. She will be remembered as "a good girl" and " a good student" who was special.
Two years after Sandra Parks described how “we are in a state of chaos” on gun violence, the 13-year-old was fatally shot when someone outside fired a gun at her home and a stray bullet went into her bedroom. https://t.co/1FYOCYA4Nk— Toronto Star (@TorontoStar) November 22, 2018
Another horrific death occurred when eight-year-old Emily was run over. The accident in Chesterfield near Manchester UK left the girl's family in grief.
It happened in early November. The 24-year-old man who was driving the vehicle has been arrested and questioned. Meanwhile, her family described Emily as "the kindest person [they] ever knew."
Back in July, an even younger victim of a car crash was said to have a "heart of gold" by her family. DeSandra Thomas, seven, was in an accident when her father swerved off the road.
Her dad was left unconscious, But DeSandra was unharmed. She took it on herself to look for help. After texting 911, she went on the road and was badly hit by a passing car.
The woman who hit her called 911 to report what she thought had happened. Police later found little DeSandra's body a mile away from her father's car.
Three little girls were killed in three separate and pointless instances. Their families and all of us surely all hope things will change for the better.
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