Atlanta police said a suspect has been arrested in connection with the fatal drive-by shooting of a 6-month-old in Atlanta, the third young victim of gun violence in the city so far this year.
The incident occurred Monday afternoon, when the infant, described by officials as an innocent bystander, was shot while riding in a car. The victim, identified by officials as Grayson Matthew Fleming-Gray, was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Less than 24 hours later, city officials announced they had apprehended a suspect in Decatur, northeast of Atlanta, who they alleged fired the weapon in Monday’s fatal shooting. The suspect, Dequasie Little, 22, was charged with felony murder and aggravated assault and was awaiting transport to the Fulton County Jail as of Tuesday afternoon, police said. It is unclear if he has an attorney.
“We have the first person, and we’ll continue to go after others that we believe were involved in this incident,” Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant told reporters during a briefing Tuesday afternoon. “We’re confident we have the shooter.”
The announcement came hours after police released surveillance video of a Jeep SUV that was a vehicle of interest in the case. Bryant said information that came in from the community helped lead to the swift arrest.MORE: Stray bullet kills English astrophysicist visiting Atlanta
“I won’t cheerlead the fact that we were able to apprehend this person in such a short period of time,” Bryant said. “I’m mad as hell that the incident occurred in the first place. We’re in a place where violence in our major cities and throughout our country has gotten out of control.”
Fleming-Gray’s mother told ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB she was pulling into a parking lot when the shooting occurred.
“He was the collateral damage of a drive-by,” Kerri Gray told the station from the scene of the shooting Tuesday. “I went to check on him after hearing a certain noise and he was slumped over, and the bullet had gone right through him.”
Gray described her baby as a “miracle,” while sending an emotional message to the perpetrators of the shooting: “My son’s blood is on your hands.”
“I woke up this morning expecting to give my son his bottle,” she said. “I now have to pick up his clothes and his toys and figure out how to move on with my life.”
Officials said Fleming-Gray was the third child under the age of 6 who was the victim of gun violence so far this year, and the second fatally shot. As of Monday, his death is the 12th homicide investigation for Atlanta police this year, all but one of which were due to a shooting, according to Mayor Andre Dickens.
“We will not stop until we stop this gun violence. It’s got to stop on behalf of the family of Grayson Fleming-Gray and all the other victims that did not have to die this way,” Dickens told reporters Tuesday while urging the community to become “a part of the solution.” “Enough is enough. This has to stop.”