“I don’t want to live around my community where I got to keep on hearing and hearing people keep on getting shot, people keep on getting killed,” young Zarriel Trotter says in a public service announcement filmed last year at his school, Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School, in Austin.
Now, the 13-year-old is recovering after getting shot in the back last week while standing on the 5500 block of West Jackson Boulevard in Austin, less than a mile from Circle Rock and from Trotter’s home. The incident happened at around 8:30 p.m. According to police, Trotter was the unintended victim of shooting that broke out between two rival groups in the area.
Trotter was the 71st victim of gun violence in Austin, according to a Chicago Sun-Times analysis. The young student was only the latest among several teenaged victims of gun violence. On March 21, just days before Trotter was shot, four boys, who ranged in age between 12 and 15 years old, were shot near the corner of Washington Boulevard and Waller.
The public service announcement, which was titled “Black is Human” and can be seen on YouTube, is around a minute long. It was created by Burrell Communications, one of the largest multicultural advertising firms in the world. Earlier this month, according to the Chicago Tribune, the announcement was presented with a prestigious award from the American Advertising Federation.
Circle Rock’s principal, Elizabeth Jamison-Dunn, told the Tribune that the shooting “was disheartening” and the second time in roughly seven days that the sound of bullets could be heard within vicinity of her school.
She said that the boy they called Zari is a “great big brother and a great man” who loves basketball.
“Every morning he greets me with a big smile on his face, which makes my day,” Jamison-Dunn told the paper. “I feel horrible that this happened to him.”