Zarriel Trotter, a 13-year-old Chicago teenager who was an active volunteer in raising a voice against frequent instances of violence in his community, was grievously injured in a shooting incident in Chicago on Friday.
According to the Washington Post, Zarriel Trotter was shot in the back by a stray bullet that was fired when a fight broke out in the neighborhood where he was staying. Trotter, a vocal anti-violence advocate, had appeared in a public service video that was released last year. The video featured several black children and teenagers from the neighborhood speaking against gun violence. Trotter also handled the role of a mentor at his school.
According to Chicago police officials, the stray bullet hit Trotter after two groups were having an argument and one of the individuals involved in it pulled out a gun and fired a couple of shots. Trotter was in the neighborhood and was unrelated to the people from both the groups. He was hit by one of the two stray bullets that were fired from the gun. Zarriel was taken to a local hospital a few minutes after the incident, where he was listed in a critical condition.
His condition at this moment remains unclear after hospital authorities refused to divulge any information citing federal privacy laws. Trotter's family members, who are also at the hospital, did not speak to the media. Meanwhile, social media is talking about the incident, with everyone praying for Trotter's speedy recovery.
Zarriel Trotter, 13, critically wounded by stray bullet, was part of anti-violence campaign https://t.co/COvesifStU pic.twitter.com/YOj3HKj3Zp
— Whitney Dawn Carlson (@whitneydawn) March 26, 2016
13 year old Zarriel Trotter recovering from surgery after being hit by stray bullet on West Side. @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/qOaMt7niz5
— Audrina Bigos (@AudrinaBigos) March 26, 2016
The public service video featuring Zarriel Trotter is embedded below. The video is titled "Black is Human."
"I don't want to live around my community where I've got to keep on hearing and hearing: People keep on getting shot, people keep on getting killed," he says in the video.
The video begins with 2013 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was also awarded an Advocacy Media Award, according to the Facebook page of Burrell Communications, which created the video.
Zarriel Trotter is a student at the Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School. According to the school's principal, Elizabeth Jamison-Dunn, Trotter is a "great scholar" and studies in the seventh grade at the school.
She told ABC News, "He's a great a scholar. I've known him since he was a little boy. He has a brother in third grade -- he's a great big brother for his younger brother."
Talking about the incident, she added, "He was just outside playing. It can create a fear [for students]. We want to comfort our students and let them know we will do everything in our power to keep them safe."
The principal also confirmed that she and other staff members plan to talk to students about the violence in order to provide some sense of security to the students who were terrified after the news of the Zarriel's shooting came to light.
"I'm praying for him, praying for his speedy recovery. We love him. He's our child. We want him to get better," Elizabeth further added.
According to statistics gathered by the Chicago Sun-Times, Zarriel is Austin's 71st gunshot victim this year and the second-youngest one. A 12-year-old boy was injured in a similar incident just a week before the shooting that led to Zarriel being critically injured. Zarriel is still undergoing treatment at the Mount Sinai Hospital. We will update this article when we receive further information pertaining to his condition and hope he makes a speedy and complete recovery.
[Image via Pixabay]