FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/NBC News) – Police are investigating a shooting that critically injured a 10-month-old baby early Sunday.
In a Sunday press conference, police chief Jerry Dyer says the mother was at a family gathering with her baby, Fayth Percy, near Hammond and Millbrook avenues in central Fresno around 4 a.m.
When the victim’s mother went inside the house, the suspect, Marcus Antonio Echartea, 23, tried to hold her hand when she pulled away. She went outside and told friends about what happened, when the suspect attempted to pull her into him and force her to sit on his lap.
She pulled away and went back into the house and got the baby to leave when the suspect followed her inside the house.
She got in a car and left with a male friend. But Dyer says they made a U-turn and headed back and parked.
That’s when the suspect walked up and fired three rounds into the car, hitting the baby’s head.
Officers found Echartea inside the home and detained him. He is facing three counts of attempted murder, Dyer says.
He is also accused of being the suspect responsible for a drive-by shooting of a north Fresno home on May 27, nearly hitting another child inside.
“The baby had surgery and my mom said it went OK, but the brain is swelling,” says Ronald Moran, a family-friend of the victim. Moran says baby Fayth and her mother live with his family.
“We took them in because they got kicked out of their place,” he explained. Moran says the family’s shattered after waking up to learn the baby shot was Fayth. “I see that baby every morning, so yeah it took a toll.”
Chief Dyer says he was at the hospital in the morning praying with the family. He says the parents are broken and hurting.
Dyer is asking for the whole community to come together and pray for baby Fayth’s recovery, as well.