WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Police are investigating after a two-year-old boy was shot in Waterbury Tuesday.
Investigators determined the gunshot incident occurred on Pinecrest Drive. One person said they were sitting outside and jumped when they heard a single loud noise that shook the neighborhood.
A witness said someone came running out of a house carrying a child in their arms, jumped in the car, and drove off.
Around 1:30 p.m., officers responded to Waterbury Hospital upon being notified by hospital staff that a juvenile gunshot victim had been brought into the emergency room.
Police identified the victim as a two-year-old boy who sustained a gunshot wound in the abdomen area.
Earlier Tuesday, police said the boy was in stable condition and was being taken by LifeStar to CT Children’s Medical Center in Hartford.
On Wednesday, Waterbury police said three to four people were inside the home at the time of the incident. According to the police, there was no altercation or disturbance.
Police learned that Kharis Samuels, 20, was showing off his gun when it went off and struck the child. His friend’s three younger siblings and grandma were also home at the time.
Waterbury police said the family did not call 911 but instead brought the child to the hospital on their own.
News 8 spoke with the family of the two-year-old off-camera Wednesday and they said he is doing OK.
Samuels has not been taken into custody and police are continuing to look for him. Police said he has ties to Florida and New York.
Police are working to figure out what led up to the incident.
“He was invited there. He was there to socialize with that particular party that lives in the house,” Spagnolo said.
The Department of Children and Families has been notified and is conducting an investigation.
Waterbury police said the mother of the child is not around and the father is currently incarcerated. The child was in the custody of their grandmother.
Police said they responded to the house three times since August of 2021, mostly for domestic disputes.
“A half-hour before the police officers came, there was a lot of fighting going on, somebody had pulled up, the grandmother looked really distraught,” a woman who did not want to be identified told News 8.
Neighbors said it was startling, especially when police responded and breached the house.
“When they were surrounding the house, it was really, really scary,” the woman said.
Samuels is being considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is being asked to contact Waterbury police.
The warrant for Samuels charges him with first-degree assault, illegal discharge of a firearm, first-degree reckless endangerment, illegal transfer of a pistol, criminal use of a weapon, carrying a pistol without a permit, illegal possession of weapons in a motor vehicle, and three counts of risk of injury to a child.
If anyone has information regarding this incident, contact the Waterbury Police Department Detective Bureau at (203) 574-6941 or Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (203) 755-1234.