NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Residents in Brownsville, Brooklyn, were heartbroken and furious Monday, a day after a 1-year-old boy was fatally shot in the head while being pushed in a stroller by his parents. Meanwhile, police are investigating the possibility that the boy’s father may have been the intended target, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.
Antiq Hennis was struck by a bullet around 7:20 p.m. Sunday on Livonia Avenue, police said. The 16-month-old boy was pronounced dead after being rushed to Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center.
Police say they have a lead on a suspect, but no arrest has been made. A crime scene van had returned and police tape still surrounded the perimeter of the crime scene Monday morning.
Antiq’s mother, Cherise Miller, is paralyzed by the pain, too grief-stricken to leave her home Monday, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.
“The mother is hurting,” said Bishop Willie Billips. “No more babies. No more people. We’ve got to turn this around.”
“He was such a beautiful little baby, smiling and talking with everybody,” Lenore Steele, Antiq’s great-grandmother told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.
Friends offered support to the family as they struggled through the death of the one-year-old.
“I was at the hospital with them last night. I was in the room with her when she got the news. This is not easy,” Shirley Jones-Baisden told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
Added family friend Caroline Kuforiji: “You were looking at the baby hoping tomorrow it would be something in life. And now look at the pain.”
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said Antiq’s father was taking the toddler to visit his grandparents. Four bullets were fired, two struck the stroller. Police have been trying to interview Antiq’s father, Anthony Hennis, who has a lengthy arrest record, but they say he has not been cooperative, Kelly said.
“This is a tragedy for his parents, the family, for the entire community and for this entire city,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “Every child in our city is precious, and every child deserves our protection. And when a child dies, we all suffer, and we all grieve.”
Community activists say they know who the shooter is and why he fired the shots.
“It’s an old beef,” said activist Tony Hebert. “Something that was being resolved — a dispute between the shooter’s brother and the target. What it’s about? We don’t know. But quite frankly to shoot anybody in God’s world is stupidity.”
Brownsville resident Robin Simon said she fears for her own five children following the shooting.
“It hurts your heart,” she said. “My heart is mourning for this lady right now and the father.”
On Monday afternoon Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced that the NYPD did have a lead on a suspect. A reward of $22,000 had been offered.
On Monday community leaders were going door to door in Brownsville to look for witnesses.
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