Oct. 13 (UPI) — A 2-year-boy is in stable condition after being shot early Saturday morning in a road rage incident, police said.
At a news conference, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Police Commissioner Michael Harrison described the incident as “an act of road rage.
The suspect, who should be considered “armed and dangerous,” was driving a silver or gray minivan, Harrison said.
Before noon, the child was in “somewhat stable condition and is expected to survive,” the police chief said.
The child is believed to have been wounded while in the car during an incident of adults involved in a shooting.
“Crimes like this simply cannot and will not be tolerated in a civilized society and in a great city like Baltimore,” Harrison said. “I know that many of you share my outrage. So I’m asking as the police commissioner, as a city resident, as a father, for your help to identify and arrest the person responsible for this cowardly, violent act.”
At 12:34 a.m., police were called to the Seton Hall neighborhood after sounds of gunfire were reported. But no victims were found.
Later, police were called to an area hospital where the boy was being treated.
The boy was riding in a vehicle that had stopped behind other vehicles at a red light, police said. The driver “blew the horn several times,” and then drove around the other cars at the light when they didn’t move, according to police.
The driver of the first car at the light “followed and caught up to the victim’s vehicle, and then fired from his vehicle into the victim’s vehicle, striking the child,” Harrison said.
The suspect is described as a “heavy-set, black male with dreadlocks.”
“Violent crime and gun violence in Baltimore City affects all of our citizens, including our youngest and most innocent. What happened to this child is a terrible reality that we have seen happen too many times before,” said Rob Cekada, ATF Baltimore special agent in charge. “We ask that the community join us in that fight.”
Officials pleaded with the gunman to turn himself in.
“Whoever you thought you were shooting at, you didn’t shoot. You shot a child, a 2-year-old,” Cekada said.
Several other children have been caught in gunfire in Baltimore in “a culture of violence.”
Through Saturday this year, there were 267 homicides in Baltimore compared with 241 at the same time last year. At least 625 other people have been wounded by gunfire this year, which is an increase of 100 more than this time last year.