Jacksonville, Fla., police said Saturday that a 22-month-old boy died in a drive-by shooting, NBC News reports.
The toddler, Aiden Michael McClendon, was in a parked car Friday night with his mother and grandmother when a white vehicle opened fire. Aiden was struck three times and taken to a hospital, where he died from the gunshot wounds.
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams called the shooting gang-related. “Our resolve is strong to stop gun violence and gang activity,” he said, noting that there have already been 13 murders in the city this year.
Tom Hackney, chief of investigations at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, told WJXT that Aiden was the only person injured in the drive-by shooting. He believes that the intended target was inside a nearby house.
His team is processing evidence and interviewing witnesses but still needs the public’s help to solve the crime.
“When these things happen, people call, we’re counting on that,” Hackney said. “Evidence leads a lot of ways, but somebody picking up the phone always helps.”
Meanwhile, a $3,000 reward has increased to $20,000 from the contributions of local business leaders.
“The people responsible for this need to be off our streets,” Hackney said. “They don’t deserve to walk the same streets as you and I.”