A 13-year-old boy who appeared in an award-winning public service announcement about gun violence was shot over the weekend, according to The Root.
Zarriel Trotter was hit and seriously injured by a stray bullet when two groups got into what was described as a “heated argument” Friday night in Chicago.
“He was not the intended target,” Police Officer Jose Estrada said, according to the New York Times. “He was standing on the sidewalk.”
Ironically, Trotter was the only person injured in the shooting.
He was one of several youths who participated in a video series released last year which highlighted the negative effects of gun violence in black communities.
“I don’t want to live around my community where I got to keep on hearing and hearing people keep on getting shot, people keep on getting killed,” Trotter said in the video.
Sadly, Trotter’s fears became a reality when he was the victim of gun violence. The New York Times reports that there have been 46 shootings since the start of 2016 in the district where Trotter was shot.
The video that featured Trotter was part of a social media campaign called “Black Is Human” which “takes an honest look at our community, celebrates its spirit and illuminates a truer picture,” according to PRNewser.
Elizabeth Jamison-Dunn, the principal of the school Trotter attends, reportedly told the Chicago Tribune that Trotter is recovering but not yet able to speak.
Despite this tragic circumstance, Trotter is lucky to be alive. A 12-year-old California boy did not experience the same fate when he was shot and killed while walking to a convenience store with his cousin earlier this month.
It is well-known that Chicago’s black and low-income communities are plagued with gun violence and gang activity. The city was dubbed, “Chi-Raq,” after its murder rate exceeded the death toll of soldiers in Iraq in 2012. Here we are four years later, and the disheartening nick-name still applies.
There appears to be no end in sight for the crime and gun violence looming over the windy city.
Watch the public service video that features Trotter below:
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters