PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An 18-month-old boy suffered a graze wound to his head in a double shooting in East Germantown, police say. The incident happened shortly before 5 p.m. on Sunday on the 100 block of East Pastorius Street.
A 26-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to his right shoulder, police say. Both were taken to Einstein Medical Center and placed in stable condition.
Crime scene tape blocks off part of E. Pastorius St. in #Philly where @PhillyPolice say an 18-month-old boy was grazed in the head by a bullet. A 26-year-old man was shot in the shoulder. Both are expected to survive @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/6VPba0akuG
— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) January 12, 2020
Police say the infant was the man’s nephew.
“There was no doubt that when they were firing the gun that they had to see the kid, they were right up on them so they made the decision to fire guessing that the uncle was the target, but I don’t know that for sure,” Acting Philadelphia Police Commissioner Christine Coulter said.
Investigators say the man and his nephew were just coming out of the house when a car stopped and the gunman opened fire.
Police say as shots rang out, the man threw himself on top of his nephew trying to shield him from more bullets.
“He did put himself around the baby when he dove to the ground, probably saving the child’s life,” Coulter said. “As horrible as it is, it could have been way worse because another half-inch, that child would be dead.”
At least four shots were fired, according to police.
“Clearly based on the way the circumstance happened, they were targeting that person,” Coulter said. “It wasn’t like a shooting that happened a block away and they got hit by stray gunfire. They pulled up and they fired at the individual who had the baby. Fortunately, they weren’t killed, but still tragic.”
Sidney Clark is praying for his 18th-month-old great-grandson and his 26-year-old grandson.
“He’s 18 months. He can’t even come out here and play in the daytime? That’s bad,” Clark said.
Clark works in the cafeteria at Einstein Medical Center.
“I can’t even be at my job and they call and tell me my grandchild’s been shot?” he said.
Clark says he sees gunshot victims arrive at the hospital every day and adds that another one of his grandchildren is aware of the city’s gun violence.
“I got a grandson in the house right now, 5 years old. He comes out here every day and be like, ‘I hope nobody will be shooting because I want to ride my bike.’ Kids can’t even come out here and play no more. That’s bad. It’s a nice day, it’s January. You can’t even come out here and ride your bike,” Clark said.
Sidney Clark is the grandfather of the man who was shot. He works in the cafeteria of Einstein Medical Center – where both victims were taken tonight.
He sees gunshot victims arrive there almost every day and adds that his other grandchild is aware of the city’s gun violence: pic.twitter.com/HaGdDTZ7DU
— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) January 13, 2020
Philadelphia saw an uptick of children struck by gunfire last year with 115 being shot, according to police data. Horrific acts of violence that leaves even seasoned investigators in disbelief.
“I can’t for the life of me figure out what would make someone fire a gun knowing a child was on location and could possibly be struck,” Coulter said. “It’s outrageous, but everybody has to be fed up and folks have to step up and say not on my block and not in my neighborhood and not in my city.”
Police have not recovered any weapons or released a description of a suspect.
No arrests have been made.
An investigation is ongoing.
CBS3’s Matt Petrillo contributed to this report.