US man shot six-year-old neighbour and her parents after 'basketball rolled into driveway'

Kinsley White shows reporters a wound left on her face. Credit: CNN

A North Carolina man has been arrested on suspicion of shooting and wounding a six-year-old girl and her parents after she went to retrieve a basketball that had rolled into his driveway.

Robert Louis Singletary, 24, was arrested in Florida on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

The violence was the latest in a string of recent shootings sparked by seemingly trivial circumstances.

Gaston County Police Chief Stephen Zill said at a news conference on Wednesday that his department and the US Marshals Service's Regional Fugitive Task Force had been conducting a broad search for Singletary.

He added that suspect had initially fled the scene of the shootings near Gastoniaon on Tuesday night.

Robert Louis Singletary Credit: AP

Singletary had been out on bond in a December attack in which authorities say he assaulted a woman with a hammer.

He was wanted in Tuesday's shootings on four counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill inflicting serious injury, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Mr Zill declined to say what sparked the attack, explaining that the investigation was ongoing.

However, neighbour Jonathan Robertson claims the attack happened after some local children went to retrieve a basketball that had rolled into Singletary's yard.

Singletary allegedly went inside his home and came back out with a gun, which he began shooting, the neighbour claims. He also claims Singletary yelled at the children on several occasions since moving to the area.

Six-year-old Kinsley White was grazed by a bullet in the left cheek and was treated at a hospital and released, her family said.

Her father, Jamie White, who had run to her aid, was shot in the back.

He remained hospitalised on Thursday with serious wounds, including liver damage, according to Kinsley's grandfather and neighbour, Carl Hilderbrand.

The child's mother, Ashley Hilderbrand, was grazed in the elbow. Authorities say Singletary also shot at another man but missed.

Mrs Hilderbrand said: “It was very scary. My daughter actually got to come home last night. She just had a bullet fragment in her cheek.”

This is the latest in a string of recent US shootings that occurred for apparently trivial reasons.

Last week a teenage student in Missouri was shot and hospitalised after he went to the wrong address to pick up his younger brothers.

And in Texas, two cheerleaders were shot by a man after one of the girls mistakenly got into a car that she thought was her own.

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