By Rob Frehse and Aya Elamroussi, CNN
An 11-month-old girl is in critical condition after she was shot in the face Wednesday while she was with her mother in a parked car in the Bronx neighborhood of New York, police said.
The shooting happened shortly before 7 p.m. when an armed man chased another man down the street and fired two shots, New York Police Department Deputy Chief Timothy McCormack said during a news conference. The mother and child were parked on a corner while the child’s father was in a nearby grocery store when the shots were fired, injuring the girl in her left cheek, police said.
Police were on scene interviewing witnesses and canvassing the area for video of the incident, McCormack said.
“This is not the city our children should grow up in. And we need help,” New York Mayor Eric Adams said Wednesday night. He called the shooting a “wake-up call” and implored legislators and district attorneys to address the issue of gun violence in the city.
“We need help from Albany, we need help from our district attorneys and we need help to make sure we don’t continue to put young people in the pathway of violence. We’re losing on both ends.”
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson echoed the mayor’s remarks.
“This has been a state of emergency,” Gibson said. “We are beyond this being a cry for help when a mother can’t sit in her car with her child, to have to hear a gunshot and thinking it was a rock that hit her car and realizing her baby was shot.
“This is not normal, and we will never accept this violence as normal,” Gibson added. “This is a crisis. We need help.”
The shooting in the Bronx highlights the nationwide impact of gun violence on children in the US this year.
Forty kids age 11 and younger have been injured by gunfire during the first three weeks of 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which compiles data from shooting incidents. Shootings have claimed the lives of 15 children in that age group so far this year.
For teens ages 12-17, 163 have been injured and 65 have been killed, GVA data showed.
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CNN’s Laura Studley contributed to this report.