There have been nearly two dozen shootings in less than a week in Dallas, leaving at least seven people dead.
Police, once again, called on the community to collaborate and help solve the crimes. The mother of 4-year-old Royalte Bailey, a little girl who was struck in a drive-by shooting, said she’s had enough.
Like any neighborhood in Dallas on a sunny day, the sound of children playing can be heard coming from the playground at the apartment complex in the 2800 block of East Overton Road. And like so many others anxious for Christmas cheer, people who live there have already started to decorate their doors.
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Love for family and community run deep, and the people who live there said they wanted the violence to stop.
The rash of violence came to Jazsmin Sanders’ front door last week. Her daughter Royalte was shot Nov. 9 while she stood outside at the apartment complex
“It’s hard for me. I can’t sleep,” she said. “I have to grab her and hold her and comfort her and make sure she’s OK and then she’ll go back to sleep.”
Sanders said she remembered the chaos the night the shooting happened. There was blood on the ground and people called the police. Royalte was rushed to the hospital while Sanders followed in a police car.
“I’m jumping, I’m screaming, I’m panicking,” she said. “As I’m in the car I’m hitting the dashboard crying like just going crazy like, ‘Please Lord cover my baby in the blood of Jesus. She don’t deserve this, she’s only four.’ She was in surgery not five but 10 hours, and that’s hard for a 4-year-old.”
Royalte is now recovering in a wheelchair. Though she survived, the problem hasn’t gone away.
“It’s got to stop because my daughter’s life, my life, my son’s life matter,” Sanders said. “This is not a brush off situation. What are your strategies? What are you planning on doing to stop this?”
Dallas police said they shared those feelings of frustration after more than 20 shootings in a week and well over 200 homicides this year.
“We are in a horrific and tragic state and these individuals are empowered by the weapons they carry,” Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall said.
In a virtual press conference Hall said fugitive, gang and SWAT teams have been reassigned to certain areas, but that she also needed the community’s help.
“I am once again making a plea to your community, we need your help,” she said. “Provide any info you may have immediately regarding to these crimes.”
Sanders said she wanted those behind the shootings to think about what the consequences of those actions could be.
“I just want to know who did this,” she said. “Who did this to my baby.”
The neighborhood where Royalte was shot lands in Dallas City Council member Carolyn King Arnold’s district. On Monday she released a statement about the recent crime. It read in part:
“I am concerned with the escalation of crime in District 4 over the past week and I am asking that we all come together to stabilize our community and city. As a member of the Public Safety Council Committee, the safety of District 4 residents is my primary focus. That includes the safety of our children walking to school, grandmothers riding the bus to purchase groceries for their families, and family members taking care of business during the COVID-19 pandemic. I call upon our community stakeholders, pastors, and businesses to help us make our community a safer neighborhood for all residents.”
Anyone with information on the recent shooting and homicides are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 214-373-TIPS (8477)
Sanders started a GoFundMe page to help with Royalte's medical care.