JEROME PARK, the Bronx (PIX11) — A baby girl was shot in the face in the Bronx on Wednesday, police said.
The 11-month-old girl was in a parked car with her mother near Valentine Avenue and East 198th Street when an unidentified suspect chased another unidentified individual and opened fire, striking the baby, officials said. She was shot in her left cheek.
The infant’s mother called 911 around 6:50 p.m. and officers arrived within two minutes, an NYPD official said. When police arrived, the mom was holding the child. The girl’s dad was inside a grocery store.
The baby, whose first birthday is days away, was taken to the hospital in critical condition, officials said.
Police early Thursday morning described the infant’s condition as “stable.”
“This is unacceptable and it needs to stop,” NYPD Deputy Chief Timothy McCormack said.
As of Wednesday evening, McCormack said the investigation was ongoing. Police do not know the motive that led to the suspect firing at the intended target.
No arrests had been made, as of early Thursday, according to the NYPD.
Police asked people to avoid the area of East 198th Street between Bainbridge and Grand Concourse. The 52 precinct advised people to expect emergency vehicles and delays in the area.
Citizen App video from the scene shows NYPD officers and vehicles in the area. Surveillance video from the time of the shooting shows two people run by. One appears to raise a gun.
“This is not the city our children should grow up in,” Mayor Eric Adams said Wednesday night. “If tonight wasn’t a wake up call, then I don’t know what will wake us up.”
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson called the shooting “absolutely outrageous.”
“Our babies deserve to live,” she said in an impassioned plea Wednesday night after the shooting. “They don’t deserve to live in communities where they have to dodge bullets every single day. But for communities like ours, it’s all too common.”
On Tuesday night, an NYPD officer and a teenage suspect were shot by the same bullet in the Bronx. It was fired by the suspect’s gun.
Adams, a former cop himself, has met with grassroots, gun violence prevention groups in recent weeks. He’s said he wants to reform and rebuild New York City’s plainclothes anti-crime units to get more guns off the streets.
Adams went to the hospital on Wednesday night to get an update on the baby’s status, a spokesperson said.
“The first thing the mother did was she walked into the room and she grabbed our hands and she prayed,” Adams said, describing his visit. “She prayed for her city. And she prayed for the children of this city. And she prayed to end this senseless violence.”
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).