On a warm afternoon in May, 8-year-old Keilyn Natareno was struck by a stray bullet on her way home from Lewis Elkin Elementary School in Philadelphia. Keilyn, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, was sitting in the car with her father, just a few blocks away from the school she’d just left, when she was shot in the head — a wound she’d survive, along with a teacher and another bystander who were also wounded in the shooting. She is the youngest person shot in the city so far this year.

“To see this happen to his daughter in the middle of the day, picking her up from school, sitting in his car, thinking you’re in your safe space. And then a bullet comes to the windshield,” Keilyn’s doctor told the Inquirer. “This is their worst nightmare. And luckily it had a happy ending, but it’s not always that way here.”

Shootings like Keilyn’s are all too common in the U.S. It’s difficult to quantify how many children fall victim to stray bullets each year, but they could number in the hundreds. And for kids across the country, it’s not necessarily unusual to hear gunfire near schools: Thousands of U.S. schools have experienced nearby shootings over the last decade. But the problem is particularly pronounced in Philadelphia: Of the 100 schools that saw the most nearby shootings from 2014 through 2023, a Trace analysis shows, five of the top 10 schools were in Philly. That includes Lewis Elkin, which experienced 268 such shootings in that time period — more than all but four schools in the country.

In partnership with Chalkbeat, The Trace’s Mensah M. Dean and Olga Pierce have more on the Philadelphia schools with the most nearby shootings.

What to Know Today

A federal appeals court rejected a bid by Smith & Wesson to avoid turning over documents about its advertising practices to New Jersey’s attorney general, the latest development in a yearslong legal battle between the company and the state. New Jersey is investigating whether the gunmaker violated a consumer protection law with its marketing. [Bloomberg Law/Reuters

The Supreme Court’s opinion in U.S. v. Rahimi, which upheld a law banning alleged domestic abusers from having guns, offered some clarification on how lower courts should interpret the constitutionality of a gun restriction. Now, the Justice Department wants the high court to weigh in on whether people with felony convictions can be barred from having guns, too. [USA TODAY

In 2020, a Georgia state trooper shot and killed Julian Lewis on a rural highway after a five-minute pursuit over a broken taillight. Newly surfaced investigative details and video show that the trooper began shooting 1.6 seconds after his cruiser stopped — and raise questions about why he avoided prosecution. [Associated Press

Nashville’s Covenant School has reopened for the first time since a shooter killed three kids and three adults there in March 2023. Over the past year, the school underwent a redesign, with the tragedy top of mind: The building is now full of bright colors, to encourage feelings of hope and playfulness, and quiet corners for teachers or students who may be going through a difficult time. [WPLN]


Stray Bullets Are Killing Kids Across the U.S.: A close look at North Minneapolis tells us more — but not enough — about child gun deaths. (February 2024)