'We gotta do better, Minneapolis': Shooting victim's grandmother gives impassioned plea

The grandmother of a Minneapolis boy shot in the head late last month gave an impassioned plea to the community Monday, asking why there wasn’t more outrage about shootings involving children in the city. 

"I’m just trying to figure out why this community is not angry," said the grandmother of 10-year-old Ladavionne Garret, Jr., who is currently hospitalized at North Memorial Hospital after being shot in a vehicle with his parents. 

According to data from the Minneapolis Police Department, 19 children have been injured by gunfire so far in 2021, far outpacing the seven that occurred during the same time period in 2020. The most recent case came over the weekend when an 8-year-old girl was shot while playing in her yard. 

Ladavionne's grandmother, who identified herself as Sharrie Jennings, of north Minneapolis, asked, "Why is this community not angry?"

"We only march when it’s against the police, huh?" she asked. "We don’t march when it’s two kids, though." 

She wondered aloud if the community had become "immune," but said her family certainly isn’t. She said her family has hosted a prayer outside the hospital every day at 6 p.m. for the past 16 days. 

In her speech, which took place near the end of a news conference where city officials announced a new community policing initiative, the grandmother called out local leaders who were in attendance. 

"I hope the Mayor, the Chief and anyone else that may be involved, we hope ya’ll step up, because if not, it’s going to be a deadly summer," she said. 

The grandmother said the community had heard "enough talk," and concluded with a simple statement:

"We gotta do better, Minneapolis."