Trinity Ottoson-Smith, a 9-year-old Minnesota girl, was shot dead while jumping on a trampoline in a friend’s backyard last spring. Now, 19-year-old D’Pree Shareef Robinson is charged with her killing. The suspected gang member was arrested Wednesday and charged with intentional second-degree homicide the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) announced

BCA agents arrested Robinson without incident at his North Side home. According to the Star-Tribune, the 19-year-old remains in custody ahead of a scheduled court appearance Thursday, presumably his arraignment. 

The teen is charged with second-degree intentional murder, a felony punishable by up to 40 years in prison under Minnesota’s criminal code. 

Prosecutors believe Robinson meant to shoot three adults sitting on the porch of a home when a stray bullet struck Ottoson-Smith as she played in the backyard. 

“The sadness that comes with this arrest and charge is the reminder that an innocent nine-year-old child was shot and killed last year while playing on her trampoline,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman in a statement issued Thursday. 

“I cannot express enough sympathy to her family and loved ones.”

What Happened to Trinity Ottoson-Smith?

According to local media reports, 9-year-old Ottoson-Smith was jumping on a trampoline behind a friend’s home in the Jordan neighborhood of north Minneapolis on May 15. 

Authorities believe a red Ford sedan pulled up in an alley adjacent to the home and opened fire at the three adults on the porch. One shot missed the house entirely, traveled to the backyard and struck Ottoson-Smith in the head. 

Authorities suspect D'Pree Shareef Robinson meant to shoot rival gang members when he allegedly killed Trinity Ottoson-Smith, 9.
Authorities suspect D’Pree Shareef Robinson meant to shoot rival gang members when he allegedly killed Trinity Ottoson-Smith, 9. Photo credit: YouTube

The 9-year-old was rushed to nearby North Memorial Health Hospital in critical condition. She succumbed to her injuries after 12 days on life support, reports added. 

The tragic shooting stunned Minneapolis, but the official investigation showed little sign of progress until this week with Robinson’s arrest. 

Police said Trinity Ottoson-Smith, 9, was shot dead by D'Pree Shareef Robinson, 19, on this block last spring.
Police said Trinity Ottoson-Smith, 9, was shot dead by D’Pree Shareef Robinson, 19, on this block last spring. Photo credit: Google Maps

D’Pree Shareef Robinson Arrested

In the charging documents and other court filings obtained by the newspaper, prosecutors allege that D’Pree Shareef Robinson is an active member of the Black Disciples, a Chicago-based street gang with ties across the Midwest. The shooting that killed Ottoson-Smith, officials believe, was a gang-related attack that went wrong. 

“This was a drive-by shooting that was captured on surveillance video,” prosecutors wrote in the criminal complaint. “Video showed that the victim and two other juveniles who were on the trampoline were directly between the shoot and the intended targets, who appeared to be three males on the side porch of the residence, dressed in dark clothing.”

Trinity Ottoson-Smith, 9, was killed in a driveby last year. D'Pree Shareef Robinson, 19, is charged with her murder.
Trinity Ottoson-Smith, 9, was killed in a drive-by last year. D’Pree Shareef Robinson, 19, is charged with her murder. Photo credit: YouTube

After the first shots rang out, authorities claimed, “one of the three on the porch could be observed [on the video] chasing after the suspect vehicle on foot and appeared to return fire three times.”

Investigators said they were able to track down and formally charge Robinson by using the surveillance video as well as “license-plate reader technology.” 

The criminal complaint went on to allege that Robinson had a history of posting his purported gang affiliation on social media. 

In one such post, prosecutors said that the teen called himself “an active shooter” for the Black Disciples, claiming “I know how to shoot and I know how to fight.” Robinson also reportedly posted photos of himself posing with guns, and identifying as a “GDK” — a “Gangster Disciple Killer,” in reference to a rival gang

It’s not clear if authorities believe the three adults targeted in the 2021 drive-by are affiliated with the Gangster Disciples. 

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