A 1-year-old was shot and killed in his stroller on a Brooklyn street – and the bullet was most likely intended for his father, police said.
Little Antiq Hennis, 1, died after being shot Sunday night in the Marcus Garvey Village projects in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn. He took a bullet to the left side of his head and was pronounced dead at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, the New York Times reported.
The shooting may have been gang-related, according to police. Antiq’s father, Anthony Hennis, may have been the target of the bullet, the Associated Press reported Monday. Anthony Hennis, who has a criminal record, was not cooperating with the investigation into his son’s death, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told the AP.
The 1-year-old was shot after his father took the boy from his mother, Cherise Miller. Anthony Hennis and his son were on their way to the boy’s great-grandmother’s home.
The great-grandmother, Lenore Steele, said she heard the gunshots that killed the 1-year-old boy. She then said her grandson rushed to her to tell her the tragic news.
"And he fell on the ground and said, `Grandma, my baby got shot! My baby got shot, Grandma!' Steele told the AP. "He was such a beautiful little baby, smiling and talking to everybody."
Gina Gamboa, 22, also heard the shots. She told the Times she saw a man running away from the scene and another man near the stroller.
“The baby’s head was to the side,” she told the paper, adding that the stroller was covered with blood.
Community leaders in Brownsville concurred with police speculation that Anthony Hennis was the intended victim of the shooting.
“We know exactly who the shooter is,” neighborhood activist Tony Herbert told the New York Post. ““It was a beef between the shooter’s brother and the baby’s father.”
Shirley Jones-Baisley, vice president of Marcus Garvey Village, said she knew the family and the 1-year-old’s mother since she was a little girl.
"I stand here again, but this time it's closer,” she told the Post about the tot’s death. “I was at the hospital with them last night. This is not easy. I was in the room with her when she got the news. I'm out here all the time, begging you to do something different. We have babies that we have to raise and they die here early because we are not taking time out to understand what life has to offer us. I'm begging you, this is hard. I feel defeated right now.”
Police have issued a $12,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Antiq’s killer.
The killing of the 1-year-old rocked social media, where a Facebook page, R.I.P. Antiq Hennis, was created. The page has more than 4,000 likes.
"We need to express the outrage!! These punks must be put away. The thug lifestyle is killing us!" wrote Sandra Santiago.
Others expressed their concern about violence in Brownsville, one of New York City's most violent neighborhoods.
"Brownsville really getting crazy smfh but R.I.P little man you didn't derserve that," said Muhamed Jones.
"These young black men need to put down the guns in pick up a book in stop killing these innocent kids danm shame R.i.p baby boy my heart goes out to the family," added Rosalind Blackwell.