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13-Year Old Shot by Stray Bullet Appeared in Anti-Violence Video Last Year

By Gillian Mohney,

A Chicago teen critically injured in a street shooting this weekend was an anti-violence advocate.

Zarriel Trotter, 13, took part in a public service video last year, featuring statements against gun violence by several black children and teens. He was also a mentor at his school.

Trotter was shot in the back by a stray bullet when a fight broke out in his neighborhood Friday. Chicago Police officials said two groups were arguing when one person pulled out a gun and fired a few shots. Trotter, who was unrelated to either group, was hit by a one of the bullets.

He was taken to the hospital in critical condition and underwent surgery over the weekend, according to reports by ABC affiliate WLS-TV in Chicago. Hospital officials declined to give an update on his condition, citing federal privacy laws. Trotter’s family also declined, through hospital officials, to give comment.

In the public service video produced last year, called “Black is Human,” Trotter spoke about the frequent violence he witnessed in his neighborhood.

“I don’t want to live around my community where I’ve got to keep on hearing and hearing: People keep on getting shot, people keep on getting killed,” he said.

Trotter’s Principal at the Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School, Elizabeth Jamison-Dunn, told ABC news that the seventh-grader had taken part in a mentorship program at the school.

“He’s a great a scholar,” she told ABC News. “I’ve known him since he was a little boy. He has a brother in third grade — he’s a great big brother for his younger brother.”

Jamison-Dunn said she, along with her staff, plan on talking to students about the violence to provide some sense of security.

“He was just outside playing,” she said. “It can create a fear [for students]. We want to comfort our students and let them know we will do everything in our power to keep them safe.”

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