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October 21, 2014

UPDATE: Police say uncle accidentally shot baby in Minneapolis, fled

Minneapolis police say the father of an infant who was critically injured in a shooting late Thursday night was not truthful in his initial account of what happened, the Pioneer Press reports.

The baby was not hit by a stray bullet fired by an unknown suspect, as previously reported – in fact, it was the 2-month-old’s juvenile uncle who accidentally fired the shot inside the home. The juvenile fled, and police were seeking him.

“Investigators believe that this was an accidental shooting, no other suspects are being sought and the public is not a risk,” police said in a statement, the Star Tribune reported.

Initial erroneous reports indicated the father had been holding the baby outside when it was shot. But the shooting actually occurred inside a residence in the 2400 block of Emerson Avenue North, police now say.

WCCO spoke to the child’s grandmother, who said police told her the boy was “grazed” by a bullet and was breathing when he was taken to the hospital.

There have been a number of incidents recently involving north Minneapolis children caught in crossfire, the Star Tribune reports.

The Thursday shooting was a few blocks from the site where 3-year-old Terrell Mayes was shot and killed by a stray bullet that went into his home the day after Christmas in 2011. There’s a $60,000 reward in that case, but no suspect has been identified.

In another north Minneapolis case, 5-year-old Nizzel George was hit by a bullet that went into his grandmother’s house as he slept on a couch in June 2012. Two teens were sentenced in that case.

Last month, a man fired on a group of people, injuring a 14-month old girl, a 19-year-old pregnant woman and a 17-year-old male.

“This is just tragic and nonsensical, and I think that as a community we’re going to have to figure out a way to address this, to respond to this appropriately,” City Council member Don Samuels told WCCO. “Otherwise, this is going to happen again and again.”