HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A prayer vigil was held for a 3-year-old Hartford boy on Monday after police say the child was the unintended victim of a drive-by shooting Saturday. This comes after a weekend of gun violence in Connecticut’s capital city.
The community rang out “enough is enough”, calling on the suspects to come forward.
Police say 3-year-old Randell Jones was in a car with his mother, two sisters, and an unidentified male adult waiting for his father to come out from the store to bring them icies when a stolen Honda Accord pulled up alongside the car and started firing shots directly at the car. The little boy was struck by gunfire.
“I thought it was firecrackers. I did not know it was bullets,” one woman told us. She was an eyewitness and did not want her face on camera. She was inside the corner bodega on Nelson Street when the gunfire rang out in broad daylight.
She says her worst fears were confirmed when she looked outside: “I looked up at the camera in the store, and I saw the baby with blood all over.”
Police say the car the 3-year-old was in took off and brought the child to a hospital, where he later died.
The suspect’s vehicle, which was a stolen car out of Windsor Locks and dumped, has been found, but police continue to look for the person responsible. Police add they believe the intended target of the shooting was the male adult in the victim’s car. That intended target is cooperating with officers, police said.
WEB EXTRA: SPANISH: Community mourning death of 3-year-old after Hartford drive-by shooting
After Randell was shot, however, it wasn’t over. Two hours later, less than a mile away, a 16-year-old was shot and killed.
“It could have been my grandchild, anybody’s grandchild,” said Antoinette Hunt, who lives in the neighborhood. “I just feel so bad because we can’t live nowhere without this gun shooting going on.”
“Our whole city’s heart breaks for the families of this little boy and this young man. These are crimes that wound our entire community.” Mayor Luke Bronin said during a press conference Sunday evening. “I am heartbroken and I am angry.”