NEW YORK: A one-year-old boy died in hospital after being shot in his stroller at a Brooklyn playground on Sunday (Jul 12).
Toddler Davell Gardner Jr was killed and three men were wounded on Sunday after two gunmen opened fire at a family cookout in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York media reported, citing New York police. The three wounded men were expected to survive.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio observed a moment of silence on Monday and declared himself “heartbroken” after the boy’s death.
“It’s just horrifying,” de Blasio said at a news conference to discuss the coronavirus.
“A baby boy, Davell Gardner Jr, one years old, playing at a playground. Davell was just starting his life and his life was full of possibilities. And now he’s gone.”
The sharp rise in shootings in New York, Chicago and other US cities, coming in the midst of the social disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, runs counter to a 20-year trend towards lower crime.
Davell’s shooting was one of 11 incidents in which 16 people in New York were shot over the weekend, WABC television reported. Shootings were up more than 50 per cent this year over 2019 with 585 incidents reported as of Jul 5, the New York Times said.
Police did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for an account of the incident.
The boy was in his stroller around 11.30pm when two men dressed in black approached, fired and fled, the New York Times reported, citing police. Davell, who was hit in the abdomen, died at the hospital, the Times said.
De Blasio mentioned a separate weekend incident in which a 12-year-old was shot in the leg.
“You can never look away from something like this and be numb to it. I’m just heartbroken today,” de Blasio said.