One moment, 13-year-old Indiana boy Noah Inman was playing basketball with friends on a summer evening. The next, he was on the ground, fatally injured by a bullet that had fallen from the sky. Noah died in a Chicago hospital on Friday, six days after he was hit by the bullet, which police believe was fired into the sky "like a firework" by somebody celebrating in a nearby community at around 9:30pm, NBC Chicago reports. People at the scene initially thought Noah had suffered a seizure. The Hammond Police Department offered its "heartfelt condolences" to the boy's family and urged the shooter, or anybody who knows somebody who was firing into the air on July 1, to come forward, ABC 7 reports.
Noah played baseball in the Highland Babe Ruth League, where coach Juan Maldonado describes him as a "dream kid" to coach, the Chicago Tribune reports. He says on Saturday, during the team's last tournament of the season, players had "NI 12" on their caps, referring to Noah's jersey number, and chanted "1-2-3 Noah" after huddles. Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. describes the death as a "ridiculous fluke" and a "horrible tragedy." "I don't know what [people shooting their guns in the air] think happens—the bullet disappears into thin air?" he tells the Tribune. "The bullet could've come from Munster, Cal City, East Chicago, really anywhere close by. It's like getting struck by lightning—so senseless." A GoFundMe page set up to help the family has raised more than $22,000.