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Teen who wrote award-winning essay on gun violence was shot and killed by stray bullet


A teenager in Milwaukee, who wrote an award-winning essay about gun violence, died after being hit by a stray bullet after shots were fired outside her home on Monday night.

Sandra Parks wrote the essay titled “Our Truth” two years ago when she was then in sixth grade. The essay, which took third place in a citywide competition, explored gun violence while commemorating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. In it, she expressed how she believed the world wasn’t carrying out King’s message.

She wrote of seeing “examples of chaos almost every day” and lamented “little children” who were victims of “senseless gun violence.”

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The 13-year-old girl was sitting in her room on Monday night when a bullet was fired at her home and hit her in the chest.

“Momma, I’m shot,” Sandra told her mother, Bernie Parks, according to FOX 6 Now.

The mother told FOX 6 Now her daughter “didn’t deserve to leave the world like that.”

“I looked at her. She didn’t cry. She wasn’t hollering. She was just so peaceful,” she said.

Isaac Barnes, 26, [left] and Untrell Oden, 27, [right] have been charged in connection with Sandra Parks’ death.

Isaac Barnes, 26, [left] and Untrell Oden, 27, [right] have been charged in connection with Sandra Parks’ death.
(Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office )

Isaac Barnes, 26, and Untrell Oden, 27, were arrested in connection with Parks’ death. Barnes was charged with “first-degree reckless homicide with a dangerous weapon and endangering safety and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon,” The Washington Post reported. Oden was charged with “two counts of a possession of a firearm by a felon,” FOX 6 Now reported.

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FOX 6 Now reported Oden told investigators Barnes “was shooting at an unknown target as they walked from a store.” A criminal complaint stated Barnes’ former girlfriend saw Barnes outside her sister’s home, and he threatened her with a firearm.

Bernice Parks said she missed her daughter and was hoping for some answers and justice.

“I miss her a lot. I can’t go anywhere without crying,” she said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for the teen’s funeral costs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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