'Senseless act' leaves 9 year old boy dead and his father hospitalized in Madera gang shooting

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Sunday night double shooting that killed a nine-year-old boy has devastated the town of Madera, leaving the city's police chief, Dino Lawson, nearly in tears at a press conference.

"This is very hard, I have children of my own, my officers are taking this very hard, this is a very personal case," Lawson said.

Lawson says the young boy, who has been identified as Leonardo Morales, had just left a nearby laundromat with his father. The two were traveling south on Tozar Street approaching Olive Avenue when someone pulled up and fired several rounds into the car.

Leonardo was hit several times, his father three times, once in the abdomen, arm, and upper chest.

Police say the dad then drove to the little boy's mom house and had his older son drive them to hospital. After arriving at Madera Community Hospital, Leonardo died.

Loretta Lopez says the shooting happened right behind her house. Knowing an innocent kid died from it has left her heartbroken. Madera Mayor Andy Medellin echoes the same pain, especially for the grieving mother.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with her and the family. We feel horrible for her loss and we as a community will stand behind her," Medellin said.

Now the father, who police believe was the intended target, was taken to Community Regional Medical Center and is expected to survive.

Anyone with information on who did this should call police and authorities say you can remain anonymous.
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