Suspect arraigned in case of 3-year-old shot, killed in Flint - WNEM TV 5

Suspect arraigned in case of 3-year-old shot, killed in Flint

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Veondra Bartee Veondra Bartee

At least one person has been arrested after a toddler was shot and killed in Flint.

It happened about 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 on Dort Highway and Carpenter Road.

Investigators said Landon James Speirs, 3, died from a gunshot wound to the head.

The suspect, Veondra Bartee, was arraigned on Oct. 17.

Bartee was charged with homicide, three counts of assault with intent to murder, six counts of felony firearm, one count of felon in possession of a firearm, one count of firing from a moving vehicle and one count of carrying a concealed weapon.

"Something should be done. You got 3-year-olds being shot and killed," said Rhashad Roberts, Flint resident.

Roberts said he will be holding on to his 4-year-old son a littler tighter, hoping something will change.

"Not just the gun violence, but the whole attitude around here in general is just so rough," Roberts said.

Police are not saying much about what exactly happened, but they said the child was not the intended target. The child was rushed to the hospital where he later died.

Alfred Harris, with the Concerned Pastors for Social Action, said there is no excuse for what happened.

"Especially like the young person. They are not responsible for where they're from, where they live, who their parents are, what their gifts. They are just innocent," Harris said.

Harris said his church, the Saints of God in Flint, will be available to help in any way they can. He said the shooting should not be in vain and he will push for justice and reform.

"It also must energize us to reach out. Even if these people are not in our churches, we've got to get a handle on the situation. Again I say it's spiritual, but it's also psychological," Harris said.

After so many recent shootings, Roberts wishes law enforcement could crack down on gun violence.

"We need to do a better job of learning the law. Not just the laws of the gun, but gun safety and gun control," Roberts said.

If you have any information on the case, you’re asked to call Flint Police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-422-JAIL. 

People are feeling anger and disgust over the shooting.

Landon was the second young victim in the past three weeks in a community struggling to come to grips with gun violence.

“It’s heart wrenching," said Tabitha Marsh, a family attorney. "There’s no excuse for it. There’s no explanation.”

She said as a counselor and an attorney, she has an idea of what creates such reckless behavior.

“A lot of it has to do with being a depressed community,” Marsh said. “The lack of jobs and the lack of education. Lack of opportunities so people turn to violence and crime.”

Marsh said it’s not just the police who have to get this issue under control. She said many of these problems start at home.

“Sometimes people don’t know how else to behave,” Marsh said. “Your mentors and parents and people you watch growing up resort to violence then you think that’s normal.”

Abraham Curton, a Flint resident, said gun violence has created a scary situation in Genesee County, especially for kids. He said because of that he plans to keep a better eye on his little ones.

“I always try to watch my children and steer them away from getting in bad situations,” Curton said. “But it’s hard to constantly try to keep someone safe.”

This is the second time a 3-year-old was injured in a shooting in less than three weeks. Marsh hopes something can be done to stop the cycle of violence. She said one child shot is too many.

“There are other ways to resolve conflict,” Marsh said. “There are also other ways to resolve disputes with other people.”

A GoFundMe page was created to help the family pay for funeral expenses. As of Tuesday, more than $1,000 has been raised.  >>To donate click here<<

The funeral service will be held Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. at the Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors Capstick Chapel in Lapeer. Friends may visit prior to the service from 1-6 p.m.

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