Visalia detectives say the three-year-old was sitting on his father's lap when the bullet went through a window and hit him Saturday night. Emergency crews rushed the child to Kaweah Delta Medical Center and then to Children's Hospital in Madera for surgery.
Police say two 17-year-olds are in custody for the shooting and they have ties to local gangs.
"They hit him in the stomach and it came through his back and hit him. The bullet stopped in front of him," said the victim's bother Jose Hernandez.
The bullet also nearly entered the father's hip.
Investigators are still looking for a motive, but they are confident they have everyone responsible for the shooting.