NEW YORK – Police investigating the death of a 1-year-old boy shot in the head in his stroller said Monday they believe his father was the target.
Authorities have some leads in the killing of Antiq Hennis on a Brooklyn street Sunday night and believe his death may be gang-related, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. Antiqs father, Anthony Hennis, has a criminal record and wasnt cooperating with police in their investigation, said Kelly, who didnt elaborate.
Hennis, 21, had just gone to pick up Antiq at the home of the babys mother, Cherise Miller, and take him to visit Hennis grandmother, police said. Hennis put the boy in the stroller and was pushing him across a street in the Brownsville neighborhood when shots rang out, police said.
Hennis grandmother, Lenore Steele, said she heard shots before Hennis ran up to her.
And he fell on the ground and said, Grandma, my baby got shot! My baby got shot, Grandma! said Steele, flanked by community group leaders and mayoral candidate Bill Thompson. He was such a beautiful little baby, smiling and talking to everybody.
Grief and outrage over Antiqs shooting loomed over the annual West Indian Day Parade about a mile and a half away, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the killing a tragedy for his family, for this community, for the entire city and political candidates talked about gun violence.
Four shots were fired, and one hit Antiq in the left side of his head; he was declared dead on arrival at a hospital.
Hennis and Miller couldnt immediately be reached for comment Monday.
While killings hit a record low in the city last year and are on track to drop further this year, Bloomberg said, that is cold comfort to any grieving parent or friends.
Brownsville is a struggling section of central Brooklyn, with a poverty rate about twice the citywide rate, according to a 2012 analysis of government data by New York Universitys Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.
Antiqs killing was at least the second case of a toddler being shot to death in a stroller this year.
In March, a woman walking home from a post office in Brunswick, Ga., with her 13-month-old son was accosted by a gunman who demanded her purse and then shot her in the leg and fired a shot at the child in his stroller, killing him, authorities said.
In another case of violence toward toddlers in New York, a 3-year-old boy was shot in the head and wounded Aug. 24 as he slept in his familys Brooklyn apartment.