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9-yo, struck by stray bullet at birthday party, dies


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    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Trinity Ottoson-Smith, the 9-year-old girl who was struck by a stray bullet 12 days ago while jumping on a trampoline at a friend’s birthday party in north Minneapolis, has died from her injuries.

Raishawn Smith, Trinity’s father, told WCCO’s David Schuman that she passed away late Thursday afternoon.

Trinity becomes the second young girl to die from a stray bullet to the head in north Minneapolis in the past eight days. Aniya Allen, 6, died on May 19, two days after she was shot while in her family’s car on the way home from McDonald’s.

On April 30, 10-year-old Ladavionne Garrett Jr. was also shot in the head while sitting in the back seat of his parents’ car, en route to his grandmother’s house in north Minneapolis.

MPD Public Information Officer John Elder said in a Thursday night press conference that Trinity was rushed to the hospital by responding officers in a squad car. He said “several teams of investigators” have been assigned to these three cases, and a “great number of tips” have come in. No one is in custody.

A $30,000 reward fund has been set up by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber in the effort to gather information that leads to arrests in these shootings.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stoppers anonymous tipline at 1-800-222-8477. Tips can also be submitted online via the Crime Stoppers website.

“Keep sending tips through Crime Stoppers. Help us solve crimes in your community. We have an incredible rate of arrests and charging when the community works with us,” Elder said. “We know full well people know what happened, who did this. Come forward with that info. You can remain anonymous and get a reward.”

Elder says homicides are at more than double what they were at last year, and four times as much as 2019. And shooting victims are “well over” what they were at in 2020.

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