A North Carolina man was arrested in Florida Thursday afternoon for shooting a six-year-old and her parents over a basketball that rolled into his yard. The shooter, Robert Louis Singletary, committed the crime in Gaston County, North Carolina, then immediately fled to Tampa, Florida, before turning himself into authorities after a two-day manhunt. He is expected to appear in court Friday to discuss his extradition back to North Carolina. Singletary shot three people in total, while bullets only grazed the six-year-old and her mother; the husband and father, William White, remain in the hospital in serious condition after suffering a punctured lung and liver from a bullet.
NPR: The N.C. man accused of shooting a 6-year-old and her parents was arrested in Florida
By Rackel Treisman; April 21, 2023
The North Carolina man accused of shooting a 6-year-old and her parents after a basketball rolled into his yard has been arrested in Florida following a two-day manhunt.
Robert Louis Singletary, 24, turned himself in to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa — some 600 miles away from the shooting — on Thursday afternoon, Gaston County police said.
Hillsborough County arrest records confirm that Singletary is being held on a fugitive warrant with no bond.
Singletary didn’t have any identification on him, but local authorities were eventually able to confirm his identity and notify North Carolina police that he was in custody. He is scheduled to appear in Florida court on Friday regarding his extradition.
North Carolina authorities charged Singletary with four counts of attempted first-degree murder, one count of possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflicting serious injury.
Gaston County District Attorney Travis Page is vowing to hold Singletary accountable, telling CBS affiliate WBTV that “we’ll be damn sure to be loud and clear” when the case goes to court.
“The people of Gaston County will see and hear our commitment to that prosecution,” Page said.
Singletary has a criminal history, online records show.
He was convicted in 2017 of felonious assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflicting serious injury, and released from prison on parole in September 2020, per the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction.
In December 2022 he was charged with assaulting his girlfriend with a mini-sledgehammer and making her clean up the evidence before she could leave. Singletary was released on a $250,000 bond that same month, CNN reports.
One victim remains hospitalized
Singletary is accused of opening fire on four of his neighbors, hitting two, grazing one and missing another.
Authorities say that William White remains in serious condition at a Charlotte hospital. He suffered a punctured lung and liver damage, WBTV reports.
His wife, Ashley Hildebrand, was grazed in the elbow. His daughter, 6-year-old Kinsley White, was released from the hospital after having bullet fragments removed from her cheek.
A verified GoFundMe aims to raise $50,000 for their medical bills and other family supports.
“Kinsley is one of 4 kids in the family who will be in need of therapy and who will have to do without while their dad is out of work,” wrote the organizer, who identified herself as White’s sister.
Police haven’t confirmed what prompted the attack, citing the ongoing investigation, though eyewitnesses have said a stray basketball is to blame.
It’s the fourth shooting in less than a week in response to an apparent mistake — from a teenager ringing the wrong doorbell in Missouri, to a young New York woman killed after her friends’ car turned into the wrong driveway, to two Texas cheerleaders shot after approaching the wrong parked car after practice.
Neighbor Jonathan Robertson said children came to retrieve a basketball that had rolled into Singletary’s yard, the Associated Press reports. He said that Singletary — who has yelled at neighborhood kids on previous occasions — went inside, got his gun and began shooting.
Hildebrand told CNN that her family had nothing to do with the basketball game: They had been outside grilling while Kinsley rode her bike.
She added via text that she was glad to hear of Singletary’s arrest and couldn’t “believe he made it all the way to Florida.”
Photo: Facebook via YourPD