13-year-old who wrote award-winning essay on gun violence has been shot, killed

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A 13-year-old who once wrote an award-winning essay on gun violence was struck by a stray bullet and killed Monday night, CNN reports.

Sandra Parks was sitting in her bedroom in Milwaukee when the bullet shattered her window before hitting and killing her around 8pm CT.

Parks was an eighth grader at Keefe Avenue School. Two years ago, she wrote an essay that won third place in a contest honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Her essay, titled “Our Truth,” discussed the violent state of her city and lamented that “little children are victims of senseless gun violence.”

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett held a press conference Tuesday. “Sandra Parks, a 13-year-old, went into her bedroom. She never came out alive,” he said. “Tragically, her death was caused by someone who just decided they were going shoot bullets into her house and she’s dead.”

Isaac D. Barnes, 26, and Untrell Oden, 27, were charged Wednesday in the shooting, according to local ABC news station WISN. Barnes has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide, and Oden has been charged with “possession of a firearm by a felon,” according to WISN.

Bernice Parks, Sandra’s mother, started a GoFundMe page asking the community for assistance with the memorial service. She spoke to WISN following her daughter’s death. “My baby was not violent,” she said. “My baby did not like violence.”

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H/T CNN

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.