Richmond boy shot by bicyclist firing at passing car


June 29, 2012 5:51:01 PM PDT
A Richmond neighborhood is in shock after a 10-year-old boy was shot in the back Thursday.

It happened at the corner of Maine Avenue and South 15th Street. The child was the unintended victim in what neighbors say is ongoing gun violence in their streets. The child's mother remains concerned about his safety, a concern neighbors also share.

Maria Escobar is close friends with the victim's mother. She says they had just finished visiting at her home and were chatting on the sidewalk when the gunfire started. She says she saw a man firing a gun from a bicycle across the street, so she jumped on ground with the children and the victim's mother.

Yvonne Colman heard the gunfire from inside her home. There is still chalk on the sidewalk marking where the shooter was standing right near her front door. She quickly checked to see if her neighbors were OK. "As soon as everything was over, I came out the house and I immediately asked them were they OK. They were saying they were OK. And a few minutes later, that's when the lady was yelling, 'My baby has been shot,'" she said.

Richmond police quickly arrived and found the 10-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the back. In a rare move, they decided to speed the child to the hospital in a police car. By phone, from Children's Hospital, the victim's mother says her son is doing better, but said doctors are weighing some delicate surgeries because of the internal injuries caused by the bullet.

Police say they don't have much information to work with. "The child was an unintended target. It was a bicyclist shooting at a motor vehicle that just passed and the child just happened to be in the background and he was struck one time," said Andrew Barbara with Richmond Police. They are hoping that anyone who saw the shooter or the car he was shooting at can call Richmond police at 1-510-620-6613.

The neighborhood is marked with several bullet holes. It's a place where neighbors say outsiders come to make trouble. "So, whenever somebody has a problem, the fight is fought out here in our neighborhood," Colman said. "They need to take it back to their neighborhood, or whatever."

Witnesses say the shooter sped off on a bicycle after he finished firing. He ditched the bike a couple blocks away. Police have recovered the bike but are still looking for the person who was riding it. They are also looking for the vehicle the shooter was firing at. So far, the only description they have is of a black Ford Fusion with a shattered rear window.

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