A suspect has been arrested in the death of a 6-month-old baby boy in Atlanta who was struck by a stray bullet Monday while riding in a car with his mother, city officials said Tuesday.
The suspect, 22-year-old Dequasie Little, was tracked down less than a day after the shooting with the help of the city’s police, its gang unit, the Georgia State Patrol, the U.S. Marshals, and community efforts, Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said during a press conference.
Bryant condemned the “pandemic of this violence” he said was taking place in his city.
“I’m mad as hell that the incident occurred in the first place,” Bryant said. “We’re in a place where violence in our major cities and throughout our country has gotten out of control.”
The infant, identified as Grayson Matthew Fleming-Gray, was in the backseat of a vehicle when a bullet pierced through the trunk in broad daylight and hit him, Channel 2 Action News reports. The vehicle had reportedly become stuck between two other cars that were engaged in a gun battle on the street.
The baby was taken to a local hospital but succumbed to his injuries. He was the third young child to be shot in the city this year, officials said.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said Tuesday the city was committed to combatting gun violence, though he offered little in a specific plan.
“We will not stop until we stop this gun violence,” he said. “It’s got to stop on behalf of the family of Grayson Fleming-Gray and all the other victims that did not have to die this way and those that have been injured by others—innocent bystanders. We got to put an end to it.”
The shooting took place just before 3 p.m. near a school where some parents had reportedly already gathered to pick up their children.
“Our windows were open. We heard originally what we thought were firecrackers, but it turned out to be gunshots,” a young girl who attends the nearby KIPP Academy told Channel 2.
A woman who lives about 15 feet from the crime scene told 11 Alive she had heard a “series of gunshots” coming from two cars on the street.
A neighbor told 11 Alive she heard a “series of gunshots” about 15 feet from her home.
“Immediately my heart began to break,” she said of learning that a baby had been killed. “You know, here we go again, another life lost, another senseless death.”