A 12-year-old boy whose 20-year-old aunt had pulled their car over in Brooklyn Thursday so they, along with an 8-year-old girl, could eat was shot and killed when a group of men got out of a sedan and started opening fire, authorities say.
A day later, the community rallied in a unified cry to end such "senseless" violence.
Police say the boy, whose identity has not been released, was not the intended target of the shooting near East 56th Street and Linden Boulevard in East Flatbush. He had been in the front passenger seat and was hit in the head and chest.
The boy was pronounced dead at the scene, according to senior police officials. On Friday, the boy's mother visited the scene where the shooting occurred, not saying anything as she grieved and was embraced by a community at its breaking point.
"The power of this mother to be here because she thought it was important to be here. The power of this mother ... Thank you so much, your community is with you, we love you," said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso at a vigil.
"These communities are pleading for resources, so that this mother wouldn't be crying, shaking," said NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, "I want people to imagine your 12-year-old son is no longer here because someone shot and killed him."
Also shot was the boy's aunt in the driver's seat. She was wounded in the head, right cheek, chest and upper leg and underwent surgery late Thursday at Kings County Hospital. She is expected to survive, police say, but was last said to be in critical condition.
The 8-year-old girl, who was in the rear passenger seat, wasn't hurt.
It was not immediately clear what prompted the shooting, ror if the car itself was the target. Police said that the victims live in the area.
The five suspects took off in a black Infiniti sedan with Connecticut license plates, as well as in another black sedan.
NYC Mayor Eric Adams spoke at a police press conference at the scene hours after the shooting, calling for an end to the violence as he acknowledged that "as long as we have guns and a revolving door system, we're going to continue to come to crime scenes like this."
"The question I continue to ask: What about the innocent people? The people that are sitting in their cars and are shot and killed. We hear so much about those who are fighting, but when are we going to start fighting for the innocent people of this city?" Adams said. "I'm going to do that, and this police department is going to do that. we're going to catch this shooter ... Time for it to stop."
Williams echoed thoe calls on Friday, saying that "we going to be here again. We know we're going to be here again."
An investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.