INDIANAPOLIS – An Indianapolis 9-year-old is racking up online Girl Scouts cookie sales after she was shot in the leg during a drive by shooting on her way to pick up her boxes of cookies Tuesday.
The Girls Scouts of Central Indiana launched an online cookie drive dubbed “Cookies for Sinai” after Sinai Miller was shot outside her family’s apartment in Indianapolis around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday as she prepared to meet up with her Girl Scouts troop at its nearby clubhouse, the Indianapolis Star reports.
Siani was waiting with her two younger sisters when shots were fired from a passing Ford Expedition, one of which hit Siani in the left calf. The child was rushed to the Riley Hospital for Children, treated and later released.
“They walked outside the door, and they didn’t even get to make it across the lot and then the shots start ringing out,” Mark Chandler, boyfriend of the girl’s mother, told Fox59.
“Officer Christopher Wilburn, a spokesman for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, told The Star detectives do not think the shot was meant for the child, but that witnesses did not see anyone else around the children when the gunfire rang out,” according to the Star.
Shanita Miller, Siani’s mother, told the Associated Press her daughter was eager to sell her cookies door-to-door but she’s now confined to the couch, her leg propped up on a pillow.
“She woke up early that morning, right before she went to school, and said, ‘Mommy, today’s Girl Scouts. We’re getting our cookies today!’ And I told her, ‘Wonderful, but we’ll do that this afternoon,’” Miller said.
Chandler said the incident left the girl scared and confused.
“When (Siani) got home from the hospital, she asked me, ‘Why did this happen to me? Did I do something wrong?’ I didn’t have an answer for her because she didn’t do anything wrong,” he told the AP.
“She needs all the hugs, all the kisses, all the sweet names that you can say to her – and all the comfort,” he said. “Whoever did this needs to come forward. They hit an innocent child and they should feel some guilt.”
So far, that hasn’t happened, but the Girls Scouts of Central Indiana have stepped up to help Siani stay in the cookie game.
Girl Scouts spokeswoman Deana Potterf said the online cookie drive in Siani’s honor is racking up significant sales. Siani’s aunt has also promised to buy 20 boxes of cookies, and her teacher at Fox Hill Elementary placed an order, as well, according to the news service.
The cookie drive is intended to raise money to send Siani’s Girl Scouts troop on a trip to somewhere special, Potterf said.
“Siani’s never been outside of Indianapolis, and so she’s really excited about maybe being able to take her whole troop of about 15 Girl Scouts somewhere, on a trip,” she said.
The Girl Scouts of America told the Indy Star it’s the first time in the organization’s history that a child has been shot while participating in a cookie sales project, but sadly it’s far from the first time a child has been gunned down in Indianapolis.
“In the past year, a 16-year-old boy died after being shot in the belly while riding his bike on a summer night. A 14-year-old girl survived a gunshot wound to the back suffered while sitting in a car. A 13-year-old honor roll student was critically wounded at a birthday party,” according to the Star.
“Statewide, 82 children died from firearm injuries from 2011 to 2013, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. Over that same period, 190 children were treated for firearm injuries.”