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One-year-old boy dies after ‘targeted’ shooting in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A one-year-old boy died after being shot in the chest Thursday night in West Palm Beach in a suspected targeted shooting, police said Friday.

A West Palm Beach Police Department spokesperson initially reported that the child was 4 months old. However, police later clarified to WPTV on Friday that the boy was in fact 16 months old.

The child died after undergoing surgery at a hospital, police said.

Investigators said the boy, along with his mother and father, both 20, were seated in a vehicle just before 6 p.m. Thursday in an alley south of Fourth Street and west of Douglass Avenue when at least one shooter approached the car and opened fire. .

“The driver of the car, the 20-year-old male, immediately drove the injured woman and child to a nearby hospital,” West Palm Beach police spokesman Mike Jachles said.

The boy, who was sitting in the back seat of the car, was hit in the chest, his aunt said.

The child’s mother was grazed by a bullet and taken to hospital, where police said she was treated and later released. The man in the car was not injured.

Taniyah Carter says her sister called her right after the shooting.

“She was so focused on the baby. So she didn’t know she had been shot. But the whole time she kept screaming ‘they shot my baby; they shot my baby. ”

Joel Lopez/WPTV

A woman and a 4-month-old baby were injured in a shooting near Douglass Avenue and Fourth Street on April 7, 2022, in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The shooter fled and was not captured.

West Palm Beach police are now offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who provides information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case.

“Our detectives are determined to find the person or persons responsible for the murder of an innocent 16-month-old baby,” Jachles said. “No words can describe what this family has to go through.”

One-year-old boy dies after ‘targeted’ shooting in West Palm Beach


Crime scene tape in the Fourth Street and Douglass Avenue area of ​​West Palm Beach after a fatal shooting on April 8, 2022.

On Friday, police were going from car to car handing out flyers and speaking with drivers near Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and Tamarind Avenue.

Jachles said the shooting was a targeted attack. However, no further details on a possible motive have been released.

“There’s no threat to the neighborhood per se. It was targeted,” Jachles said. “It was not a random attack. These people, or someone in the vehicle, were targeted.”

Geneva Thomas, who lives in the area of ​​the shooting, said: “We heard gunshots and ran away because we didn’t know what happened,” said Geneva Thomas.

Thomas says she doesn’t understand why anyone would do that.

“We have a lot of children playing here. That’s the only thing that worries me too. These children and my health. I don’t want to get shot by anyone and that’s why from now I stay in my house,” she says.

Deasia Baxtor, who lives in the area, is also worried about gun violence. She refuses to leave her two children in the yard.

“We do a lot of things outdoors. I try to keep them outdoors. And now that they’re filming here, I don’t really like going out anymore,” she said.

In February, West Palm Beach police have announced the arrest of 18 people who authorities say are linked to the 4th Street Gang. which primarily operates in an alley between Third and Fourth Streets adjacent to Tamarind and Douglass Avenues, according to a probable cause affidavit.

On Friday, Jachles would not confirm whether the shooting of the one-year-old boy had links to gang activity.

“There was a seizure of drugs and firearms from the ‘4th Street Gang’ a few months ago. Any connection to the investigation will be part of what detectives would keep close to the vest at this time as part of the investigation. “, Jachles said. “So it would just be speculation at this point.”


West Palm Beach Police Speak Out About Fatal Shooting of 1-Year-Old Boy

On Friday, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James issued the following statement about the shooting, calling it a “heinous act”:

“I was saddened to learn of the baby’s tragic death and her mother’s injuries resulting from the targeted shooting last night. My thoughts and prayers are with their family at this time. The murder of an innocent child is incomprehensible… There is simply too much gun violence in all of our country.It is unfortunate that the state has blocked municipalities from taking further action against gun manufacturers.

Anyone with information that could help investigators is asked to call the West Palm Beach Police Department at 561-822-1900 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 800-458-TIPS.

The identities and photos of the 1-year-old boy and his 20-year-old mother were provided to WPTV earlier Friday by a family member. However, since then, the victims’ family have invoked Marcy’s Law and wish to keep their identities private. Therefore, out of respect for the victims and their families, WPTV no longer identifies the child and his mother.

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.