A Man Who Shot At A Group Of Children Throwing Snowballs Will Spend 16 Years In Prison

Two of the children were injured when they were shot.

A Wisconsin man who was convicted of shooting at a group of children after they threw snowballs at his car was sentenced to 16 years behind bars. 

William Carson, 27, pleaded to the court for leniency and mercy at his sentencing hearing Friday. He was found guilty in November of two counts of first-degree reckless injury and five counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety.

"I miss my family. I miss my kids," Carson told the judge. 

Prosecutors had initially asked for Carson to serve a 25-year prison sentence after his conviction. 

On Jan. 4, 2020, a group of seven children were playing in the snow and throwing snowballs at passing cars, until one of the drivers, who was later identified as Carson, turned his car around and fired his gun at the children as they ran away, Fox 6 Milwaukee reported.

Two of the seven children suffered injuries. One was shot in the arm, and another was shot in the thigh.  

During Friday’s sentencing hearing, the mother of one of the children described how the shooting had impacted her family. 

"You really hurt us, and I really want you to pay for what you did to my family," she said.

After the shooting, Carson fled. He was arrested more than a week later, after police found him driving under the influence and recovered a gun from his car that tested as “highly probable” for being the gun used in the shooting, according to Fox 6. 

At the time of his arrest, Carson told officers he had recently purchased the gun for self-defense, according to the outlet.

According to court records, Carson was also sentenced to 10 years of extended supervision, during which he must maintain full-time employment or school enrollment as well as sobriety, as ordered by Judge Michael Hanrahan.

"There is this other side of you that is impulsive, reckless, violent — I think self-centered," Hanrahan said at the hearing.

The American Public Health Association says gun violence in the US is a public health crisis. It is a leading cause of premature death in the country, responsible for more than 38,000 deaths annually. In 2020, 39,492 were injured in shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

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