The shooting death of a 16-month-old baby boy in Brownsville Sunday evening has left a community shaken and prompted community leaders to call for greater efforts to be made to end gun violence in the neighborhood.
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Police Commissioner Kelly said one-year-old Antiq Hennis was being pushed in his stroller by his father, Anthony Hennis, when he was shot in the left side of his head as they crossed Livonia Avenue at Bristol Street in Brooklyn around 7:19 p.m. on Sunday.
Anthony was bringing Antiq to visit his grandmother, Lenore Steele, 72.
Lenore and Anthony's aunt, Cheryl Steele, described their horror when Anthony came running up the street carrying the stroller and screaming that his little boy had been shot.
"All I remember seeing is the bullet and his brains on the side of his head," Cheryl said.
Cheryl said the baby moved once in his stroller before falling still.
Police Commissioner Kelly said emergency medical personnel responded to the scene and rushed the baby to Brookdale Hospital, Kelly said. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Kelly said police found four .45 caliber shell casings on the corner where Antiq was shot, and a fired bullet in front of 360 Bristol Street. The stroller had 4 bullet holes which appeared to be two entrance holes and two exit holes.
Police said Anthony is a known gang member with an extensive arrest history, though he has not served significant time in jail. Hennis would not cooperate with law enforcement, Kelly said, staunchly refusing to answer any questions.
Police said Anthony's reticence led police to believe he was the shooter's intended target. Community leaders confirmed that, and that the shooting was gang-related.
Community organizer Tony Herbert explained the shooting was a result of an old "beef" between the shooter's brother and Anthony. Herbert and others with the National Action Network, a coalition of community groups, say they know who the shooter is and are hoping to bring him into the precinct Monday afternoon or evening.
Brownsville is Crips territory, according to Herbert.
Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat