West Bank Toddler Survives Gunshot Wound To Face

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A West Bank toddler is recovering from a gunshot wound to the face; after he and his father were caught in a hail of bullets.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter has reaction from the child’s family, and the latest on his condition.

Rapid gunfire in broad-day light is what sent neighbors running for cover, and sheriff’s deputies to The Gates on Manhattan Apartments in Harvey.

“All I heard was shots, about six shots,” said one neighbor who didn’t want to be identified. “So I come outside, they say a 2-year old baby was shot.”

That 2-year old is described by family members as Byron Matthews III.

“We just got a phone call to hurry up and get to the hospital to come and see because the baby had been shot,” the victim’s great aunt Michelle Favorite said.

It happened just before 5pm, in the 1600 block of Apache Drive.

Investigators say the child’s father had just picked him up from the sitter, when he noticed a man standing across the street.

“He said he just got eye contact with him and then he started shooting,” the victim’s great grandmother Martha Raby said. “And he protected the baby as much as he could but he still got hit.”

“I watch out for all the kids,” neighbor Annette Camardelle said.

Annette Camardelle is the neighborhood watch captain.

She’s seen a lot here in her 40-years, but she says nothing has prepared her for this.

“It’s shocking, it’s devastating, I just don’t like hearing that kids get shot, or anybody gets shot,” Camardelle said.

“Yeah it could have been me and my grand baby because we was walking,” the anonymous neighbor said.

Detectives say the gunman was standing with two women before shots were fired; according to the family, for no apparent reason.

“This is sad, this is sick. Anytime you’re going to do something like that to a child,” Raby said. “This gotta quit.”

Investigators say one of the bullets went through the car door, striking the child in the face.

It penetrated his cheek through and through.

The child was rushed to the hospital; where doctors say his injuries are non-life threatening.

“The doctor said he’ll make a full recovery,” Raby said.

“Good, I thank god that baby’s going to be alright,” the anonymous neighbor said.

At last check, Thursday night, family members said the child was in stable condition.

No one has been named a suspect, but detectives say the shooter may be driving a black Nissan Sentra.