A suspected gang-related shooting in Yonkers, New York on Thursday ended with a 6-year-old boy in the hospital after he was struck in the chest by a stray bullet.
According to the Washington Examiner, Yonkers police responded immediately to the scene and quickly arrested the individuals — all teenagers — believed to be responsible for the shooting.
Thankfully, the child victim managed to survive the gunshot wound to his chest and was listed as being in stable condition in the trauma center of a local hospital as of Friday night.
Boy hit by stray bullet
According to a press release from the Yonkers Police Department, the 6-year-old boy had opened the front door of his home to greet a family member when he was hit by a stray bullet that was fired by a group of teenagers a few houses down the block.
The teens were reportedly shooting at two other individuals who had just exited a cab, an incident that investigators described as “a continuation and escalation of disputes and group violence involving juveniles and young adults.”
The individuals involved in the violent dispute all immediately fled the scene on foot, but were just as quickly apprehended by police while other officers and fire department personnel provided treatment to the injured child, who was transported to a local area trauma center for treatment.
Teenagers arrested and charged
A search of the area recovered two handguns believed to have been used in the shooting and three teenagers — ages 15, 16, and 17 — were arrested and charged for their alleged roles in the crime.
The 17-year-old and 15-year-old, both alleged to be the actual shooters, face charges of second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault, while the 16-year-old accomplice was charged with hindering prosecution and criminal possession of a firearm. All three were arraigned in youth court. The two alleged shooters were detained in a juvenile facility, while the accomplice was released to his parents’ custody.
“No parent should ever have to experience the horror of having a young child harmed in this way, due to the unbelievably violent and reckless actions of a few. I thank God that the victim is in stable condition and hope for his full recovery,” Yonkers Police Commissioner John Mueller said, according to the Examiner. “I also thank the amazing men and women of this Department for their extraordinary efforts in apprehending these perpetrators in short order and removing two more illegal handguns from our streets.”
Fast-acting firefighters save a life
According to local affiliate WNBC, Mueller further described the shooting of the young boy as “despicable,” saying, “It’s disgusting, it’s horrible. This is what we’re up against right now. My heart goes out to this father,” with whom the boy lived alone.
As for the 6-year-old victim, local affiliate WABC reported that the bullet had lodged below his heart, and that he’d probably survived the tragic incident thanks to local firefighters who were across the street while returning from a call and able to immediately render emergency aid.
“The boy is very tough,” Yonkers Fire Department Lieutenant Marek Pawelec told WABC. “It’s amazing, considering what happened to him and how he was. At that point, we made sure, he needed medical attention as soon as possible.”