A 2-month-old boy was shot by a stray bullet Thursday night as he was holding his father’s hand on a local street in Minneapolis, the third child to be wounded by gunfire in the city this summer.
The baby was in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center as of early Friday morning, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported. According to Minneapolis television station WCCO, the baby was struck in the neck.
Minneapolis Police Department spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington said the boy’s father told police he heard a gunshot and then saw that his child was struck by the bullet. She said the motive for the shooting was not known and it was unclear who the bullet was intended for.
Barrington said police have been out in full force to prevent such situations, and said Minneapolitans should be angered over the number of children who have been shooting victims.
“From the police perspective, we have cops out here working 24/7 and they won’t stop. But this is absolutely unacceptable and the community should be outraged,” she told the Star-Tribune.
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Minneapolis City Council Member Don Samuels said the shooting was unthinkable.
“This is nonsensical, and as a community we’re going to have to figure out a way to respond to this appropriately,” Samuels told WCCO.
The 2-month-old boy is the third child to be hit by gunfire in Minneapolis this summer. In August, a 14-month-old girl was among three victims of a shooting that also wounded a 19-year-old pregnant woman and a 17-year-old boy, the Tribune reported. The first young shooting victim in Minneapolis over the summer was a 4-year-old boy who was shot in a car in June.
Samuels blamed the shootings on loose gun laws and a lack of police officers.
“This is a gun problem,” the council member told the Tribune Thursday night. “There is no city in America where enough police officers have been hired and social programs have been established where 2-year-olds don’t get killed.
“There’s a gun problem here. This was a gun, a bullet, a missile that was shot from a safe distance for the perpetrator and into the neck of a child, with no warning and no defense possible,” he said. “It’s a gun problem. … Legislators should be standing out here tonight.”
Police have not apprehended a suspect in Thursday night’s shooting.