Crime, Law and Justice

9-year-old girl dies from injuries suffered in Minneapolis shooting

Family members of children hit by gunfire
Raishawn Smith (left), father of 9-year-old Trinity Ottoson-Smith; Randy Ottoson, grandfather of Trinity; and K.G. Wilson, grandfather of 6-year-old Aniya Allen, gather at a news conference on May 23 in Minneapolis announcing a reward for information leading to arrests in three recent cases of children being hit by gunfire.
Matt Sepic | MPR News file

Updated: May 28, 1:32 p.m. | Posted: May 27, 9:34 p.m.

A 9-year-old girl shot while playing on a trampoline outside a Minneapolis home earlier this month has died — the second child to die from a gunshot wound in the city in as many weeks.

Family and police reported Thursday night that Trinity Ottoson-Smith died earlier in the day.

Trinity Ottoson-Smith
Trinity Ottoson-Smith
Courtesy of the family

Trinity was playing with other children on the evening of May 15 outside a home on the 2200 block of Ilion Avenue North, when she was struck by gunfire from a vehicle driving in an alley.

Her death follows the fatal shooting of 6-year-old Aniya Allen. Aniya was riding in her mother’s car on May 17 when they were suddenly caught in an exchange of gunfire near 36th and Penn avenues North. She later died at a hospital.

And another child, 10-year-old Ladavionne Garrett Jr., remained in critical condition Thursday, after being shot in the head on April 30 as he was riding in a car with his parents.

Police have not reported arrests in any of those cases. Families of the children last weekend pleaded with the community to turn in those responsible for the shootings.

"Every day we wake up, it starts over again. The pain, the hurt — it starts over and over again," Trinity's father Raishawn Smith said Sunday as his daughter was still being treated at a local hospital. "It's a terrible thing to have to feel. Something you can't just turn off. Something you can't just wrap a Band-Aid around and call it OK."

Trinity was being treated at North Memorial Health Hospital for almost two weeks. 

Her father, Raishawn Smith, posted an image of broken hearts on Facebook Thursday night with the text “God got her now.” 

A few days earlier Smith called out people using “street code” to cover for her shooter.

“What I’m calling for is for people to just speak out. Make them uncomfortable. We’re here. We’re not going anywhere,” Smith told MPR News after Trinity was shot. “We’re going to protect our kids.”

In an online fundraiser to pay for funeral services, Trinity’s family described her as wanting to change the world. “She wants to be a teacher,” the fundraiser said. “She loves making Tik Toks, doing art, doing makeup, playing Roblox with her friends, playing with her siblings, going on adventures, riding her bike, playing soft ball and basketball and doing gymnastics.”

Minneapolis City Council member Phillipe Cunningham Friday addressed the fatal shootings of Trinity and Aniya. 

“Our city is better than this, and our kids deserve better than this,” Cunningham said. “So I ask for all of you to join me in feeling this and to feel this grieving, and to mourn beside these families, because this is Minneapolis and not just the northside.”

A $30,000 reward is being offered for information leading to arrests in the three cases. Anyone with information on the shootings is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

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