GASTONIA, N.C. (WJZY) – The suspect in a Tuesday shooting of a family — including a 6 year-old girl — in North Carolina has turned himself into authorities in Tampa, Florida, police in Gaston County, NC said Thursday.
Robert Louis Singletary, 24, reportedly turned himself into the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday. He did not have any identification with him and is scheduled to have a court appearance in Hillsborough County on Friday, in reference to extradition back to North Carolina.
Singletary is believed to be responsible for shooting and injuring several people the night of April 18, in the 4700 block of Grier Street. He had been the source of a manhunt since.
The mother of the 6 year-old victim told Nexstar’s WJZY that the suspect started shooting after a child walked into his yard to retrieve a basketball that a group of kids had been playing with nearby.
“I heard the ‘pow, pow, pow, pow,’ and I thought it was fireworks,” said Ashley Hilderbrand, the mother of a shooting victim. “Then I heard the ‘pow, pow, pow,’ and everybody started yelling, ‘Get in the house!'”
Hilderbrand’s daughter Kinsley White was struck in the cheek, and White’s father William was shot multiple times.
“And when [William] went to the ground, the guy continued to shoot,” Hilderbrand said. “He didn’t care who he shot, who he killed.”
Authorities said the adult victim was rushed to the CaroMont Regional Medical Center with serious injuries. The other shooting victims were later taken to hospitals in Charlotte for further treatment.
“The juvenile that was shot, as well as the second adult that was grazed by a bullet, have been treated and released,” Gaston County Police Chief Stephen M. Zill said Wednesday.
Kinsley White spoke with WJZY after her release from the hospital.
“He came out with a gun, he started shooting,” she said. “Hope my daddy is okay.”
Singletary is charged on four counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and a count of possession of a firearm by a felon.
A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police helicopter was searching the area in what is considered to be an “extensive search.” Authorities were asking neighbors to stay indoors.
“I want to say to the people of Gaston County — this sort of violence will not stand,” Chief Zill said.
In December, Gastonia Police charged Singletary in the brutal assault of his 21-year-old girlfriend with a mini sledgehammer. They also said Singletary kept the victim inside his apartment and did not allow her to leave for over two hours. At that time, the man faced charges of assault with intent to inflict serious injury, kidnapping, and communicating threats. He was in the Gaston County jail on a $250,000 bond.
“My number one priority as chief is to make sure each and every one of our citizens are safe,” Zill continued. “Every person in every part of our county deserves that same opportunity, and it is our priority to make that a reality.”
Anyone with further information is asked to contact Det. J. Brienza at (704) 866-3320 or Crimestoppers at (704) 861-8000. A Crime Stoppers reward of up to $1,000 is available for information pertinent to the investigation.