A man and a three-year-old boy are dead after being ambushed by a gunman at an apartment this past weekend in Riviera Beach, Florida, the Sun Sentinel reported.
According to a police report, authorities were summoned to Mystic Woods Apartment complex on Sunday around 9:40 p.m. after receiving a call regarding a shooting that left 24-year-old Amir Stepherson and his girlfriend’s son, Martavious Carn Jr., dead. Carn’s mother, Darneisha Barfield, was also in the vehicle when the shots were fired, but she was not injured.
Rivera Beach Police Chief Clarence Williams said they do not believe the shooting was a random act. Stepherson was apparently involved in a dispute with the alleged gunman earlier on Sunday, during which he was allegedly threatened.
"I had officers and paramedics in tears trying to do their jobs and work through this difficult situation here," Chief Williams said. "The suspect was involved with a dispute earlier on and that if he did not comply with requests this would be the result.”
Stepherson, Carn and Barfield were pulling into the parking lot of the apartment complex when they were unexpectedly approached by the gunman.
While friends of the family are grieving the loss of both Stepherson and Carn, it’s the toddler’s death that has the town in an uproar.
“The really unfortunate part of it was an innocent three-year-old got caught up on this,” city police spokesperson Rose Anne Brown said to the Palm Beach Post.
Michael Williams, a family friend of the victims, was also baffled by the act of violence.
“I don’t understand why people would use guns and I don’t know what’s going on. You just don’t shoot into a car; you don’t know if kids are in the car or anything and three people in the car and the baby’s mother could have gotten hit, it’s tragic,” he said.
Although police have yet to reveal if they have any specific suspects, Williams says he hopes the culprit will turn themselves in.
“You killed a child, an innocent baby,” he said. “If you have a heart or any kind of soul you will do that.”
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with any information that could help the case is asked to contact Riviera Beach Police at (561) 845-4123 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS.