SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — A day after burying his teenage stepson lost to gunfire, a Syracuse man tried to save a 12-year-old who had been hit by a bullet in an unrelated shooting.
David Carroll was among the people who took James Springer III to a hospital after he was shot Wednesday night on a Syracuse street, Syracuse.com reported . Police said the boy died early Thursday morning.
A funeral was held the previous Tuesday for Carroll’s stepson, 15-year-old Loindale Johnson, who was fatally shot Oct. 3.
Carroll told the newspaper he was buying beer and snacks at a corner store last Wednesday night when gunfire erupted outside, hitting the boy in the torso and grazing the arm of his 33-year-old stepmother.
The boy collapsed at the store’s entrance. After Carroll picked him up, a woman pulled up in her car and offered to take the boy to a hospital. Carroll held the boy on his lap as she drove to nearby St. Joseph’s Hospital.
“I said, ‘Don’t worry, man. You’re going to make it,'” Carroll said. “All he said was, ‘Please just help me.'”
Carroll carried him into the emergency room. The boy died around 3 a.m., police said.
Carroll was questioned by police, who later charged a 22-year-old man in the shooting. Police said the gunman was aiming for someone else.
A week earlier, Carroll’s stepson was killed in a shooting in a neighborhood in a different part of the city. No arrests have been reported in that case.
As he stepped in to help the boy, Carroll said all he could think was, “Please. Not again.”
Carroll was wearing a white memorial T-shirt with his stepson’s name, photo, birthdate and date of death on the front. The shirt became stained with the 12-year-old’s blood.
“You bury him and then the next day, this happens,” he told the newspaper. “That’s the first thing that came to my mind. You lose one, that’s what you try to do — is save the next one.”
Police and the woman who drove the car to the hospital confirmed Carroll’s account.
“It sounds like he tried to his best to try to help James get the medical attention he needed,” Syracuse police spokesman Sgt. Richard Helterline said.
Loindale and James’ deaths came amid a spate of shootings over the past month that left three other Syracuse youths with gunshot wounds. Police said the latest occurred last weekend when a 14-year-old boy was hit by gunfire early Saturday morning. An 8-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl were among the six people wounded in separate shootings on Sept. 20.
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