13-year-old boy struck by falling bullet in northwest Indiana dies

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - A 13-year-old boy struck by a falling bullet likely fired into the air like a firework by someone the mayor of Hammond referred to as an “idiot” last weekend in northwest Indiana has died.

Noah Inman was playing basketball with a group of children about 9:30 p.m. July 1 in the 7300 block of Harrison Avenue in Hammond, Indiana, when he suddenly fell down, according to a statement from Hammond police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Witnesses thought the boy had a seizure and called an ambulance, police said. At the hospital, it was determined that he was struck by a falling bullet that was shot into the sky by someone nearby.

Inman, a Hammond resident, was later flown to Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago, where he died at 2:06 p.m. Friday, authorities said. An autopsy Sunday found he died of a gunshot wound to the head and his death was ruled a homicide.

GoFundMe page set up to help with medical and funeral costs has raised more than $23,000 toward a $30,000 goal as of Monday.

Sarah Boyle Daniels, who started the page on behalf of the family, wrote: “Noah has always had an amazing heart and has touched so many people in his 13 years. The outpouring of love, prayers, and support we have received is a testament to the impact Noah has on those around him.”

In a Facebook post, Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said Hammond Police are “investigating leads on the person who committed this act.”

He urged people to celebrate safely, and to notify police if they see anyone firing weapons into the sky. “The acts of these kinds of idiots place us all in danger from their recklessness.”

“The Hammond Police Department would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to the Inman family. We wish you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead, and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts. Our hearts go out to you in your time of sorrow. When reason fails, pray for peace. We will be praying with you,” according to a statement from police.

The police department reminds residents that it is illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits.

McDermott asked residents to pray for Noah and his family. “All this young boy was doing was what any normal 13-year-old does during the summer, playing outside in his neighborhood. What a shame.”

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Detective Lt. Mark Tharp at (219) 852-2988 or Detective Sgt. Mark Ferry at (219) 852-2991.