NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The suspect in the stray bullet shooting of a 5-year-old boy in the Bronx faced a judge on Wednesday.
Michael Quiles, 27, is charged with attempted murder in the shooting of Jaheem Hunter. The little boy was struck in the head by a stray bullet on his birthday Monday while walking with his father.
“I see the little boy fall and I see his father saying, ‘you shot my son, you shot my son,'” neighbor Dejron Taylor said.
Jaheem remains hospitalized on a ventilator. In court, prosecutors described the boy’s critical injuries.
“He was hit in the head, his father rushed him to the hospital,” Assistant District Attorney Felicity Lung said. “The bullet entered his brain. The child is — three of his lobes are damaged.”
Quiles spoke only three times, each with the one word answer “yes” when the judge asked him if he understood the proceedings, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported. He entered a not guilty plea and was remanded without bail.
Police said the shooting happened after an argument between Quiles and two other men during an alleged drug deal outside a deli. Surveillance video shows a man with his arm in a cast running away.
“He chose to shoot that gun when people are there and we have this tragedy,” said Lung.
Jaheem’s father identified Quiles as someone he had seen around the neighborhood, Carlin reported. A tip from a member of the public led police to Quiles.
Court records show Quiles served six years in state prison, convicted for his role in a 2009 kidnapping. He was released on parole in October.