NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 13-year-old boy is recovering after he was shot as he was walking to school.

Police say the gunman has been arrested.

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It happened around 7:20 a.m. on East 223rd Street near Paulding Avenue in the Williamsbridge section.

As CBS2’s Nick Caloway reports, the boy was walking down the block when a man up on his porch was waving a gun around.

He pulled the trigger once, and the boy was shot in the neck.

“Actually I heard something like a gunshot but that was it,” said neighbor Sindrine Daly.

Police say a 13-year-old boy was shot in the neck by a stranger on his way to school in the Bronx. (CBS2)

Police say that gunshot was fired from a .38 caliber handgun, which was fingerprinted by investigators.

Neighbors heard the shot and looked outside.

“All I seen was the teenager laying on the floor. The cops came, the ambulance came. All I said to myself is ‘That could have been me,'” a neighbor named Brandon said.

Police say the bullet went straight through his neck but somehow missed all the vital arteries there.

“Sad. It’s really sad because this neighborhood was never like this,” Daly said.

People who have lived in the area a long time were rattled by what happened.

“That hurts because, you know, I think of my nephews, I think of my niece who walks to school by themselves. That’s why I gave them pepper spray. You never know. To be serious, that breaks my heart,” said Edenwald resident Kristine Beckford. “And I’m a school teacher as well. So to know my student didn’t come to school today and I’m just thinking ‘Oh they’re sick.’ No, they got shot. That would tear me up.”

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The gunman was arrested. He has been identified as 36-year-old Hubert Wiggs. He was questioned for hours at the 47th Precinct, then was taken to a nearby hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

Charged with attempted murder and assault, sources say he has an extensive criminal history and was not only on parole for another weapons charge, he was out on bail for another gun crime.

Police questioned why he was ever released by the courts.

“So this individual today is on the street, while on parole for a firearm, while out on bail on another firearm. Today he’s walking around the Bronx with a firearm, and we have a 13-year-old boy shot in the neck. And for the grace of God he’s alive here today,” said Kenny Lehr, commanding officer of Patrol Borough, Bronx.

Watch Nick Caloway’s report — 

The boy is expected to recover.

“We’re just trying to hope that he gets better. Thank God he’s still alive,” the boy’s father, Ronnie Boykin, told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.

His other children are too young to understand why their big brother is in the hospital.

“This shouldn’t happen to nobody, not us or anybody’s children,” Boykin said.

Boykin says he doesn’t know Wiggs, and neither does his son.

“He was just on his way to school,” Boykin said.

Right now investigators are trying to figure out if this was a completely random shooting, or if there was any kind of argument prior.

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Nick Caloway and Jessica Layton contributed to this report. 

CBSNewYork Team