A one-year-old boy was shot and killed in his stroller at a Brooklyn playground after gunmen fired at an open cookout on Sunday afternoon. The shooting also left three wounded, according to the New York Police Department (NYPD). The incident has left everyone, including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, shocked.
According to the NYPD, there were two men who started shooting randomly at the group. However, no arrests have been made yet. New York City has seen a sudden surge in gun violence over the past few months, with the July Fourth weekend witnessing one of the highest numbers of shootings in this millennium.
Tragic and Horrifying
Davell Gardner Jr, a 22-month-old toddler, was sitting in his stroller when two gunmen walked up and open fired into the crowd. Gardner Jr was hit in his stomach multiple times. The incident happened at around 11.35 pm near Raymond Bush Playground in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The toddler, who lived in Brownville, was rushed to a nearby hospital and later shifted to Maimonides Medical Center where he was pronounced dead around 2.30 am.
Police said that a 36-year-old man was shot in the right leg, a 35-year-old man was shot in the groin and a 27-year-old man was shot in the ankle. All the three have been admitted to a hospital but are expected to survive.
According to eyewitnesses, two men jumped from a car and walked up to the crowd and started firing randomly and then fled the scene on foot through the park. Police are yet to make any arrests and are looking for the suspects.
The tragic incident has left the entire city shocked, with Blasio saying that he was "heartbroken" after learning about the boy's death. "It's just horrifying. A baby boy, Davell Gardner Jr, one year old, playing at a playground. Davell was just starting his life and his life was full of possibilities. And now he's gone," de Blasio said at a news conference to discuss the coronavirus.
New York, which was ranked as one of the safest cities in the United States in 2017, has seen a sudden spike in gun violence. Gardner Jr's shooting was one of the 11 incidents that left 16 people shot over the weekend. This year has seen a 50 percent surge in shooting incidents in New York City compared to 2019. As many as 585 incidents of shootings have been reported till July 5.
According to a New York Times report, there were 43 shootings in the city last week, up from 13 reported last year over the same period. The July Fourth weekend saw as many as 64 people being shot, with 10 getting killed, the worst month in New York since June 1996.