‘It was just crazy’: 6-year-old among three shot during Gaston County shooting spree

A neighbor said a man opened fire after a basketball rolled into his yard.
A neighbor said a man opened fire after a basketball rolled into his yard.
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 7:11 PM EDT
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GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Three people were hurt after a man opened fire in Gaston County on Tuesday night.

Anytime someone is hurt when a gun is fired in anger, it’s horrible to hear. But when a 6-year-old describes the moment she was shot, it can be heartbreaking.

“The bullet came back and the bullet went in my cheek,” the young girl said.

Though this child’s grandmother gave us permission to talk with this little girl, WBTV is not releasing the name of the girl in order to protect her and her identity.

Her father, William White, was also hit by a bullet. He’s currently in a Charlotte hospital with a punctured lung and liver problems.

“I couldn’t get inside in time so he just…he shot my daddy in the back,” the 6-year-old said.

Neighbors were left shocked by the incident.

“We just never expected it in a million years,” Jonathan Robertson said. “We never expected to break a gun out with all those kids. I mean that was insane.”

Robertson has lived in the neighborhood for a decade and said that on Wednesday morning, he was out looking for bullet casings, as were crime scene investigators.

He said the suspect, 24-year-old Robert Louis Singletary, was well-known for yelling at the neighborhood kids. He said it has happened on several occasions, and that the catalyst for Tuesday’s shooting was the children’s ball rolling into his yard.

“They were playing basketball and a ball rolled into his yard and they went to go and get it,” Robertson said. “It was just crazy.”

Police said Singletary went inside his home and came out with a gun, firing wildly at neighbors. As parents were rushing to gather their children, White and his daughter were struck. Another woman suffered a graze wound.

An 11-year-old who lives in the area described what she saw amidst the chaos.

“After he hit my dad in the back, that’s when my dad dropped to the ground,” she said.

The gunman then fled the area and hasn’t been seen since.

The 6-year-old victim pulled no punches when talking about what should happen to the missing gunman.

“I want him to go to jail forever,” she said.

Those same feelings were echoed by the District Attorney’s Office.

“We’ll be damn sure to be loud and clear when this case come to court,” DA Travis Page said. “The people of Gaston County will see and hear our commitment to that prosecution.”

Police said Singletary is armed and dangerous, and anyone who knows where he is should call police right away.

Related: Manhunt underway after man, child injured in Gaston County shooting