THE grandmother of a baby boy who was shot dead at a family barbecue has slammed the “shooting and killing” of “innocent kids”, while the child’s uncle described how “blood was everywhere” when he drove his nephew to hospital.
“I felt like I couldn’t drive fast enough,” E Ross told reporters who had gathered at the scene of the shooting in Brooklyn, adding: “[There was] blood everywhere, squirting out…[and] a big hole in his stomach”.
“They need to stop this gun violence,” Samantha Gardner, grandmother of Davell Gardner Jr, told the NY Daily News.. “I feel like this: You all are ranting and raving about black lives. But you take a life that was only a year and half old.”
There is no indication yet of what the race of the suspects is.
Davell died after being shot in the abdomen and three others were injured after two suspects opened fire during the family cookout near a playground on Sunday night.
Police say two gunmen stepped out of a dark-colored SUV Sunday just before midnight and opened fire on the family barbecue taking place in Brooklyn, New York.
Davell, two months shy of his second birthday, was fatally wounded when a bullet hit his stomach while he was in a stroller in the Raymond Bush Playground on Madison St. in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
In an interview on camera with Fox News, Davell’s father, Davell Gardner, broke down in tears, as he described the moment he got a phone call telling him that the baby had been shot in the stomach.
“It just broke me down because I didn’t know if my son was going to make it or not and he didn’t.
“I just lost myself.”
He called for information on his son’s killers.
“These guys took my son’s life. For what? He didn’t do nothing to nobody. I can’t hold him no more, I can’t hear him calling me Daddy know me. I’ve got to put my son in the ground now and he’s only one. He didn’t live to see two.
“I wanted to get him out of this violence before something like this happened.”
Gardner was rushed to Maimonides Medical Center but could not be saved. Two other men were shot in the ankle and a third in the groin– all non-life-threatening issues.
“Someone dragged [Davell] in my car,” Ross continued. “They gave the baby to me, I can’t hold the baby and drive so everybody got in my car.
“Next thing I know they call and tell them he didn’t make it. I’m furious now, to see him in the car. To see the blood in the car.”
“Now my nephew is dead, for what?
“When is it going to end?,” Davell’s grandmother told the NY Daily News.
“When are these young African American men, when are they going to stop with the shooting and the killing of all these innocent kids? It don’t make any sense.”
Gardner also lashed out at the Black Lives Matter movement, telling the NY Post: “They [are] talking about ‘Black Lives Matter,’ but black lives don’t matter because black people [are] trying to kill other black people. It needs to stop.
“I hope they catch the b******s and put them under the jail cell.”
Speaking to Fox News, Gardner added: “For the cowards that did this, you should be ashamed of yourself because everybody talk about Black Lives Matter.
“What about baby lives? What about teenager lives? Like, you took an innocent child from her mother and father as well as the grandparents. I don’t think it’s fair.”
A man who identified himself as Gardner’s grandfather told the New York Post he saw the gunmen wearing hooded sweatshirts when shots rang out. Thinking the gunshots were fireworks, the grandfather ran into the house only to be followed moments later by his daughter carrying Davell’s lifeless body. “He shot,” the grandfather recalled his daughter screaming. “He didn’t have no blood on him or nothing.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio held a moment of silence during his daily morning briefing Monday. “I woke up this morning to news that’s so painful for this whole city but it’s particularly painful for all of us who are parents, all of us who had a 1-year-old in our lives,” he started.
“To wake up this morning and learn that a 1-year-old child was killed on the streets of our city by gunfire is just so painful,” the visibly upset mayor said. “A baby boy, Davell Gardner Jr., one-year-old, playing at a playground. And Davell was just starting his life, and his life was full of possibilities and now he is gone.”
New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted about the incident, adding “these are the very real people affected by senseless gun violence.”
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NYPD Chief of Community Affairs Jeffrey Maddrey tweeted “the baby was with his family enjoying a Sunday night in the summer when someone started shooting,” accompanied by a photo of a street riddled with evidence markers. “We as a police department denounce this disgusting violence.”
The child’s death comes as New York experiences an uptick in shootings over the same time period the year before.
The city has experienced a 231% increase this year, logging 43 shootings this year as compared to 13 in 2019.