A 19-year-old man was arrested Wednesday after being charged with fatally shooting a 9-year-old girl last spring in north Minneapolis as she was jumping on a trampoline in a friend's backyard.
Trinity Ottoson-Smith's killing was one of several involving young victims hit by unintended gunfire last year on the North Side and the first case to result in an arrest.
D'Pree Shareef Robinson of Minneapolis was arrested in Minneapolis by state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) agents and booked into the Hennepin County jail on probable cause second-degree intentional murder.
A criminal complaint was filed Tuesday and then sealed from public view by a judge while law enforcement pursued Robinson's arrest.
Peace activist K.G. Wilson said tears gushed down his face when he heard police arrested someone in Trinity's death. He never gave up hope that someone would be held responsible for her death.
"I think that the whole city should be celebrating," he said. "This tragic journey is coming to a justice end."
Trinity was jumping on a trampoline in a backyard in the 2200 block of N. Ilion Avenue on May 15 when she was shot while with friends at a birthday party. She died 12 days later at North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale.
Investigators believe the girl was an unintended target of a gang-related drive-by shooting. BCA agents took Robinson into custody about noon at his home without incident.
"Families deserve to know who did this to their children," BCA Superintendent Drew Evans said in a statement announcing the arrest. "We have worked diligently to achieve justice for Trinity and her family. This is the first step toward achieving that justice."
At a vigil held while Trinity was fighting for her life, her father, Raishawn Smith, said, "She was doing what innocent kids do. She was caught in the crossfire of senseless violence."
Mayor Jacob Frey said Trinity's death "will always be a present and agonizing tragedy" for the city.
"While no level of justice can fully heal the pain her family is feeling, I hope today's news provides a small amount of peace as they continue grieving this enormous loss."
Robinson, whose preliminary bail stands at $1 million, is expected to make his first appearance in District Court this week once the complaint is unsealed.
Minneapolis had at least five instances of children 10 years old or younger being hit by gunfire last spring and summer on the North Side. Wednesday's arrest marks the first apprehension in any of the shootings, police said.
Ladavionne Garrett Jr. was 10 years old when he was shot April 30 while riding in a vehicle with his parents in the 3400 block of N. Morgan Avenue. A bullet pierced the trunk and struck Ladavionne, officials said. The youngster survived and continues to recover.
Aniya Allen, 6, died May 19, two days after being shot while riding in her mother's car. The two had just left a McDonald's and were driving through the intersection at N. 36th and Penn avenues when a gun battle broke out and Aniya was shot. Aniya was the granddaughter of Wilson, a longtime anti-violence activist.
A record $180,000 reward was offered last summer for information leading to any arrests in the shootings of Trinity, Aniya and Ladavionne.
The reward, offered by Spotlight on Crime and Crime Stoppers, coincided with a billboard campaign seeking information in connection with the three shootings, which have come to symbolize the indiscriminate gun violence that has long been plaguing parts of the city.
Tips are being received by CrimeStoppers at crimestoppersmn.org or the BCA at 1-877-996-6222 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff writer Alex Chhith contributed to this report.