Family of 9-year-old shot in Minneapolis: ‘Kids just can’t be kids, something’s got to give’

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Minneapolis police are investigating the shooting of a 9-year-old girl who was critically wounded while playing with friends Saturday night in the northside of the city.

The girl was identified as Trinity Ottoson-Smith.

“She has a smile that will take your breath away," said Korrina Smith, Trinity’s stepmother, outside of North Memorial Hospital. "She didn’t deserve this, no child does. Our girl didn’t deserve any of this.”

According to witnesses, the girl and her friends were playing outside along Ilion Avenue just north of West Broadway Avenue when gunfire erupted around 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Minneapolis police say a red Ford is believed to be the suspect vehicle.

Long-time activist with A Mother’s Love Initiative and former Minneapolis Police officer Lisa Clemons says she’s overwhelmed by the violence and lack of response from elected leaders.

"I’m just so tired," she said. "I don’t know how anyone else is sleeping."

Inside the hospital is another recent shooting victim, a 10-year-old boy hit 16 days ago in North Minneapolis.

"We have two babies, two Black babies laying by each other in a hospital fighting for their lives," Clemons said. "We should be out here fighting for their lives with them."

A vigil for both children was planned Monday night outside the hospital.

"I’m trying not to cry," said Brandy Earthman, who came to help the 9-year-old’s family. "Words cannot describe the pain I’m feeling for this family.”

Trinity’s family said they are also praying for the 10-year-old boy on their floor, and that they are comforted by the support of those who have gathered to pray.

"It gives us strength, it brings us hope," Smith said. "It makes us feel better. It’s nice to know that people care."

GoFundMe pages have been set up for both Trinity and the 10-year-old.