Family, friends, and supporters of 13-year-old Zarriel Trotter are praying for his recovery. A stray bullet struck the anti-violence advocate Friday night near his home in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports.
CBS Chicago said the bullet “barely missed” his spine. Doctors operated on Zarriel Saturday, and he’s now recovering at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Zarriel’s great-uncle, Malkey Cobb, told the Tribune that the shooting occurred when Zarriel was walking home after playing basketball with friends.
The police told the newspaper that the male shooter was among two groups of people arguing in the street at 8:30 p.m., but Zarriel was not the target of the gunfire.
According to CBS, the authorities have not arrested a suspect.
Elizabeth Jamison-Dunn, the principal of Zarriel’s Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School, called the shooting “disheartening,” according to the Tribune. She told the newspaper that four other people were shot near the school a week earlier.
She added that Zarriel has been involved in a male empowerment mentoring program, and was one of several boys interviewed as part of an anti-violence campaign.
Zarriel, a seventh-grader, makes this statement in the public service announcement:
“I don’t want to live around in my community where I got to keep on hearing and hearing people keep on getting shot, people keep on getting killed.”
The Tribune interviewed an unidentified 14-year-old friend of Zarriel:
“It gets scarier out here every day. Young people in Chicago can’t go outside without knowing whether they will be the next person fired at.”