Fresno Police calls shooting death of a child a new low for the city

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A toddler was shot late Tuesday night in southeast Fresno, and early the next morning 20-month-old Rashad Halford Jr. died from his wounds. (KFSN)

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer called Wednesday a new low for the city.

A toddler was shot late Tuesday night in southeast Fresno, and early the next morning 20-month-old Rashad Halford Jr. died from his wounds.

Police are still collecting evidence out at the scene more than 18 hours after the shooting.

They say Rashad Halford Sr. was the intended target and the killer opened fire on him near an electrical box where balloons and a candle now lie.

The apartment complex has surveillance cameras scattered all over the place, you can see one right there about 30 yards away from the crime scene, and police are hoping to piece together the whole story by using video from all around the complex.

The sound of gunfire came through loud and clear on police Shotspotter technology and within about two and a half minutes, cops had raced to the source.

About 10 shots had been fired and left three people hurt. Willis Mucelroy, Rashad Halford and his son Rashad Halford Jr. were hit.

A witness who says they're his friends says he was about a block away when chaos erupted.

"I was just watching because it was really hard, it was just random," witness Angelo Segura said. "When you hear gunshots like that, multiple gunshots, you know, I weirded out."

Before daylight, Rashad Jr. was dead.

Police say his father was holding him when the shooter walked up in a hoodie, tightened the strings around his face, and took aim at Rashad Sr.

He hit his target but killed the boy.

Rashad Jr. only lived 20 months but he was a favorite in the apartment complex where he lived.

"He was just this little kid that did things that excited you," family friend Donna Duckett said. "He did things that made you laugh and he'll truly be missed."

His death brought tears to many, even Dyer.

He called the shooter a coward who knew he was shooting at a man and a baby.

"This is a new low for us in the city of Fresno," Dyer said. "Having a 20-month-old boy who is shot and killed as he is either being held by his father or leaning on his father."

Dyer says this is the youngest shooting victim he can remember during his time as chief, but it's the fourth child under the age of 10 shot in the last two years.

He says his homicide team is putting on a full-court press to solve this case.
Related Topics:
newsshootingchild shotfresnochild killedFresno - Southeast
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