TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A North Carolina man accused of shooting and wounding a 6-year-old girl and her parents after children went to retrieve a basketball that had rolled into his yard waived extradition during a brief court appearance Friday morning in Florida.
Robert Louis Singletary, 24, was arrested Thursday in the Tampa area by Hillsborough County deputies, according to online jail records. He wore a dark-colored protective vest during the hearing.
Singletary replied, “indeed,” when Hillsborough Circuit Judge Catherine Catlin asked if he would sign the waiver to allow officials to take him back to North Carolina to face charges in Tuesday’s shooting of the girl and her parents. He will be held without bond on a fugitive warrant.
The judge said she would hold another detention hearing if North Carolina officials haven’t picked Singletary up by April 24.
Singletary is facing 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 possessing a firearm.
Gaston County Police Chief Stephen Zill said at a news conference Wednesday that his department and the U.S. Marshals Service’s Regional Fugitive Task Force had been searching broadly for Singletary, who fled after the Tuesday night shootings near Gastonia, a city of roughly 80,000 people west of Charlotte. Singletary had been out on bond in a December attack in which authorities say he assaulted a woman with a hammer.
Zill declined to say what sparked Tuesday’s attack, explaining that the investigation was ongoing.
A neighbor, Jonathan Robertson, said the attack happened after some children went to retrieve a basketball that had rolled into Singletary’s yard. He said Singletary, who had yelled at the children on several occasions since moving to the neighborhood, went inside his home, came back out with a gun and began shooting as parents frantically tried to get their kids to safety.
A 6-year-old girl, Kinsley White, was grazed by a bullet in the left cheek and was treated at a hospital and released, she and her family said. Her father, Jamie White, who had run to her aid, was shot in the back and remained hospitalized Thursday, according to Kinsley’s grandfather and neighbor, Carl Hilderbrand. The girl’s mother, Ashley Hilderbrand, was grazed in the elbow. Authorities say Singletary also shot at another man but missed.
It is the latest in a string of recent U.S. shootings that occurred for apparently trivial reasons, including the wounding of a Black teenage honors student in Missouri who went to the wrong address to pick up his younger brothers, the killing of a woman who was in a car that pulled into the wrong upstate New York driveway, and the wounding of two Texas cheerleaders after one apparently mistakenly got into a car that she thought was her own.