PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A heartbreaking weekend in Philadelphia left a toddler dead and a baby fighting for his life in two separate shootings. Mayor Jim Kenney and Acting Philadelphia Police Commissioner Christine Coulter condemned the gun violence and urged the public to come forward with information during a press conference Monday morning.
There is a $30,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in each case.
“We need help from the public,” Kenney said. “The city will do as much as we can do but we can’t do this alone and we need people to give us information on who these folks are. I know people are concerned and afraid, but when it comes to children, I think we need to have this information so we can lock them up and get them off the street.”
Officials say detectives are in the early stages of both investigations.
A candlelight vigil was held Monday in remembrance of 2-year-old girl Nikolette Rivera.
Police say she was inside a home on the 3300 block of Water Street in Kensington in her mother’s arms when a man on the street started firing through the windows and doors using an AK-47 assault rifle.
Nikolette was struck in her head and died. Her grandmother was also inside the house at the time.
“She loved to dance and use makeup, play makeup,” Nikolette’s grandmother said.
Weekend gun violence happens just about every weekend in Philadelphia. This morning, the city’s mayor addressed some challenges in stopping it https://t.co/xGmzVkgodE https://t.co/YKQncXu25G pic.twitter.com/O5sJUpxpNl
— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) October 21, 2019
Nikolette’s mom, as well as a man doing renovation work at the home, were hurt by the gunfire.
They were taken to a nearby hospital.
Authorities say the gunman intended to shoot up this home but it is unclear who the target was.
Neighbor Keisha Carter saw the bloody mess left behind.
“I ran outside to see what was going on. I will never forget that sight. There’s nothing to explain it,” Carter said.
In a second shooting that happened Saturday night, an 11-month-old boy was shot four times while riding in a car with his stepmother in Hunting Park.
The boy was hit once in the head, once in the chest, and twice in the butt.
He’s listed in very critical condition.
Police say the stepmother didn’t know the child was shot until she pulled over some three miles later.
“We have kids that are present when it happened, kids that were on the block. In these two incidents, one child shot in a car, the other killed in her home. It can’t help but shock and upset their sense of security,” Coulter said.
Police say both shootings were targeted, but it’s unclear exactly who the gunmen wanted dead.