Chicago Teenager in Anti Violence PSA Shot and Wounded


A 13-year-old Chicago boy who starred in the award-winning PSA about the gun violence within the city’s black youth was shot in the back and critically wounded, officials said Monday.

Zarriel Trotter was struck by a stray bullet after an argument between two groups of youths escalated and one person pulled out a gun and started firing, Officer Jose Estrada told The New York Times. “He was not the intended target,” Officer Estrada said. “He was standing on the sidewalk.” No one else was injured, and there have been no arrests so far, he added. Trotter was taken to the hospital in critical condition and underwent surgery over the weekend, according to ABC news.

Zarriel, along with several other inner city Chicago students, were chosen to star in a series of social media videos last year intended to highlight the toll that gun violence was taking on the black population. The videos were a part of a Facebook campaign called “Black Is Human,” in which the teenagers each spoke about their concerns and fears about the violence in their neighborhoods. “I don’t want to live around my community where I got to keep on hearing and hearing people keep on getting shot, people keep on getting killed,” Zarriel says about halfway through the video.

The production company behind the videos, Burrell Communications Group, released a statement on the shooting on their Facebook page. “Our hearts go out to Zarriel and his family,” the company posted. “We wish him a speedy recovery.”

Photo Credit: Youtube