Police Investigating Death Of 1-Year-Old Boy Shot Dead During Cookout – The little boy has been identified as Davell Gardner Jr., of Chester Street, Brooklyn. Davell was shot close to the Raymond Bush Playground at Madison Street and Marcus Garvey Boulevard at approximately 11.35 pm on the night of Sunday, July 12.
Three others at the cookout were injured after two gunmen, dressed all in black, opened fire before running away through the park. Police have stated that no words were exchanged, and there had been no dispute prior to the shots being fired.
Davell was shot in the abdomen. He was transported to Interfaith Medical Center by private means before being rushed to Maimonides Medical Center, where he was tragically pronounced dead.
During the same incident, a 27-year-old man suffered gunshot wounds to the ankle, while a 35-year-old man was shot in the groin. A third adult, a 36-year-old man, was shot in the leg.
All three of the injured adults are thankfully expected to survive, and no arrests have been made at the time of writing, ABC7 reports.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has described the violence as being ‘not acceptable’, and has placed the blame on the number of guns out on the streets:
“To wake up this morning and learn that a 1-year-old child was killed on the streets of our city by gunfire, it’s so painful, it’s not acceptable.
Our hearts need to be with Davell’s family and know they are in our hearts and our prayers. It’s never just police. It has to be police and community together.”
Family members have spoken out about the loss of the baby boy, who would have celebrated his second birthday in two months time.
Davell’s father, Davell Gardner Sr., told Fox News:
You took my son’s life. I can’t get that back. I can’t hold him no more. I can’t hear him calling me ‘daddy’ no more. I can’t kiss him no more. I can’t play with him no more.
I’ve got to put my son in the ground now. He’s only one. His birthday is in two months. He didn’t live to see two. He didn’t live life. It’s like, I wanted to get him out of this violence before something like this happened.
Also speaking with Fox News, Davell’s grandmother, Samantha Gardner addressed those responsible for her grandson’s death:
“For the cowards that did this, you should be ashamed of yourself because everybody talks about Black Lives Matter. What about baby lives? What about teenager lives?
You took an innocent child from [his] mother and father as well as the grandparents and I don’t think it’s fair.”
As reported by ABC News, baby Davell died during a particularly violent Sunday in New York City. The city saw 11 shooting incidents in total, with 16 people having been shot.
According to new data released by the New York Police Department, shooting incidents in New York City have risen from 84 to 223 over the course of the past four weeks, showing a 165.5% increase. Within this same time period, the number of shooting victims rose from 100 to 304, an increase of 204%.
In the wake of this recent escalation, community activists are calling upon legislators and politicians to do more to tackle the issue of gun violence. The investigation into this incident remains ongoing.
We express our sympathy and deepest condolences to Davell Gardner Jr’s family today and in the days, weeks, months, and years that are to come as they cope with his passing. May his soul rest in peace.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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I just finished interviewing Samantha & Davell Sr. The grandmother and father of 1-year-old Davell Gardner Jr. He was in his stroller, when a group opened fire at a BBQ. A bullet hit baby boy in the stomach & sadly he didn’t make it. I’m live from Brooklyn, NY tonight. pic.twitter.com/52gzciUH0A
— Lawrence B. Jones III (@LawrenceBJones3) July 13, 2020