Girl Who Railed Against Gun Violence: 'Mama, I'm Shot'

Sandra Parks' words ring true: 'Little children are victims'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2018 10:00 AM CST
Girl Wrote Essay on 'Senseless Gun Violence,' Was Fatally Shot
Bernice Parks, left, is consoled after the shooting death of her daughter, 13-year-old Sandra Parks.   (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via AP)

(Newser) – "We are in a state of chaos" where "little children are victims of senseless gun violence," Sandra Parks wrote in an award-winning essay, part of a 2016 contest honoring Martin Luther King Jr. The 13-year-old has now become one of the number. The Milwaukee native was watching TV around 8pm Monday when a bullet came through her bedroom window and struck her in the chest, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which reports at least four bullet holes in the house. "The bullet wasn't even for her" but she "took it like a soldier: She just walked in the room and said, 'Mama, I'm shot,'" says sister Tatiana Ingram, per WISN. Per the New York Times, Bernice Parks says her daughter "didn't deserve to leave this world like that" as she "did not like violence"—something apparent in a January 2017 interview Sandra gave to Wisconsin Public Radio.

"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 … was just killed," said the girl, who took third place in the sixth-grade level of the essay contest, per WISN. Per the Journal Sentinel, Sandra is now Milwaukee's 91st homicide victim this year; the New York Post reports she's the seventh Milwaukee public schools student to be killed since January. Two men with armed robbery convictions have been arrested. Allegedly found in a nearby home alongside a pistol with casings matching those from the crime scene, 26-year-old Isaac Barnes and 27-year-old Untrell Oden were charged with first-degree reckless homicide and weapons crimes. Police said a motive hadn't been determined as of Wednesday. (A 5-year-old was shot in Baltimore months after her sister was shot dead.)

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