Published November 29, 2015
A 9-year-old Indianapolis girl wounded by gunfire as she was heading off to her weekly Girl Scouts meeting to pick up cookies she planned to sell door-to-door is now racking up sales in an online cookie drive intended to send her troop on a trip.
Sinai Miller was standing outside her family's apartment Tuesday afternoon, eager to get to its nearby clubhouse to pick up her boxes of cookies, when gunshots rang out. Her mother, 29-year-old Shanita Miller, raced outside and found blood gushing from her eldest daughter's left calf.
Doctors treated her leg wound and sent her home. On Thursday, she sat teary-eyed and wordless on a living room couch, swaddled in a pink and purple heart-covered blanket, her left leg propped up on a pillow.
While Sinai is on the mend, her mother said the girl is traumatized, in pain and crushed that her plans for selling cookies door-to-door for the second year in a row have been sidetracked.
"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.
Although Sinai won't be able to go door-to-door anytime soon, she's still selling cookies. An aunt has promised to buy 20 boxes from her, and Sinai's teacher at Fox Hill Elementary has also promised to buy some. Also, Girls Scouts of Central Indiana has launched an online cookie drive called "Cookies for Sinai" that spokeswoman Deana Potterf said has generated significant sales.
"Sinai'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," Potterf said.
Police are investigating the shooting but have no suspects and nothing new to report since Tuesday, Sgt. Kendale Adams said Thursday. According to a police report, the shots may have been fired from a sport-utility vehicle, sending bullets toward Sinai and her 8-year-old sister, Erica, as they stood on their front porch, waiting for their mom to bundle up another sibling for the trip to the Scouts meeting.
Shanita Miller's boyfriend, 31-year-old Mark Chander, said he and his family have no idea who would target them.
"When (Sinai) 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 said.
"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."