A 20-year-old mother pushing her 3-month-old child in a stroller was executed at point-blank range by a gunman wearing all black on Manhattan's Upper East Side Wednesday, and that suspect remained on the loose early Thursday, authorities say.
Cops responding to a 911 call about shots fired near Lexington Avenue and East 95th Street around 8:30 p.m. found the woman, whose identity has not yet been released, unconscious. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The baby wasn't hurt. Few details were immediately available on the Manhattan shooting. Top police officials said at a press conference late Wednesday they were looking into whether the gunman may have had a relationship with the victim or might be the child's father, but there was no immediate confirmation of that early Thursday.
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The gunman approached the woman from behind and shot her once in the head before taking off on foot on East 95th Street, sources said.
Police said he fired a single shot at the woman's head before running off. He was last seen running eastbound on East 95th Street, the NYPD said. One shell casing was recovered at the scene, police sources added.
Mayor Eric Adams, who had spent the day talking about gun violence -- announcing a ghost gun crackdown with New York State Attorney General Letitia James before meeting with Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York on gun trafficking -- stood alongside NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell as she briefed the media.
"This entire day we have been addressing the problem of overproliferation of guns on our street, how readily accessible they are and how there is just no fear in using these guns on innocent New Yorkers," Adams said Wednesday. "This is the result of that."
"These are real lives, when a mother is pushing a baby carriage down the block and is shot at point-blank range it shows just how this national problem is impacting families," the Democratic mayor added as he called for bail reform. Adams also demanded, as he has frequently in recent weeks, more government action to buckle a trend he says applies whether "you are on the Upper East Side or East New York, Brooklyn."
"We’re going to continue to do our job," he continued. "We’re going to find this person who is guilty of this horrific crime. We’re going to find him and bring him to justice. We need to make sure this innocent person receives the justice we’re asking for."
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.