MOTT HAVEN, The Bronx (PIX11) — An 8-year-old boy was shot in the thigh on Tuesday in the Bronx, according to police.

The boy’s mother, who wished to remain anonymous, spoke exclusively with PIX11’s Anthony DiLorenzo outside the hospital. She said her son was stepping off the school bus around 5 p.m. on Beekman Avenue when gunfire erupted up the block.

A bullet hit his thigh as his grandmother knocked him to the ground for cover.

With no time to waste, witnesses saw family members rush the boy into a car and to the ER while responding officers chased down two suspects and arrested both. Police said they also recovered a gun. 

One of the suspects, identified by police as 27-year-old Joshua Brooks, has been charged with attempted murder, assault, assault on a person less than 11 years old, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a firearm. The other suspect has not been charged yet.

Meanwhile, the child underwent a battery of tests — not the kinds of tests any child should have after the first week of school.

“The fact our kids are being shot returning home from school… this is something that terrifies parents and we need the mayor to put more police on the street,” said Mona Davids, a Bronx school safety advocate.

The victim’s mother told PIX11 the bullet missed an artery and that he’d be OK. 

But neighbors worry about next time.

“If we’re not losing them to the drugs we’re losing them to the bullets,” sobbed neighbor Alejandria Rioso.

Jonathan Rizk is a digital journalist who has covered local news in the New York City and Washington D.C. areas. He has been with PIX11 since August 2022. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.