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Woman charged after young grandson used her gun to kill Nykayla Strawder

Nykayla Strawder
Posted at 3:33 PM, Feb 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-24 15:26:33-04

BALTIMORE — The grandmother of a 9-year-old boy who shot and killed 15-year-old Nykayla Strawder last summer has been indicted by a Baltimore grand jury.

Strawder was killed August 6 on Linnard Street after witnesses say the boy was playing with a loaded handgun and accidentally fired, striking her in the head.

The gun turned out to be registered to the boy's grandmother, April Gaskins, who reportedly worked as an armed security guard.

At the time police said they were unable to arrest the child due to state law prohibiting charges against someone that age.

RELATED: Family of Baltimore teen killed by 9-year-old seeks answers from police

“This is an incredibly difficult case given the victim’s age and the circumstances surrounding her death,” said City State’s Attorney Ivan Bates.

Gaskins faces one count of reckless endangerment and two counts of failure to secure a firearm with unsupervised minor.

“This indictment sends a strong message that we will hold accountable those who do not practice responsible gun ownership and secure their firearms," said Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael S. Harrison. "We must reinforce safe and secure firearm storage to ensure that these firearms do not end up in the hands of our young people or those wanting to use firearms to perpetuate violence in our city."