A four-year-old boy was killed and two men were injured Sunday evening during a playground shootout in the Morrisania section of the Bronx.
The four-year-old victim, Lloyd Morgan, was playing on the playground next to the Forest Houses basketball court — located within a public housing complex near the corner of E. 165th Street and Tinton Avenue — when a stray bullet struck him in the head around 9:36 p.m., according to police and Bronx Assemblyman Eric A. Stevenson.
Lloyd was pronounced dead upon his arrival at nearby Lincoln Hospital.
A 27-year-old man was likewise transported to Lincoln Hospital with a gunshot wound to the abdomen, and a 21-year-old man went to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he was treated for a gunshot wound to the arm. Both men are listed in stable condition, police say.
The incident purportedly occurred following the “First Annual Ghetto Angels Basketball Tournament,” which, in a cruel bit of irony, was part of a memorial for a girl stabbed to death last year.
Neighbors at the apartment building where Lloyd lived erected a makeshift shrine to the murdered child, placing candles, teddy bears and a basketball out on the sidewalk yesterday.
Candles are placed at the spot on the playground where Morgan was shot, above. In the background, a man washes away blood from the tragic shooting.
“When he comes outside they have him here on his bike or his ball,” Lloyd’s neighbor, Melody Nelson, told Metro, of the boy. “That’s all he did was play.”
She described Lloyd as well behaved, and said Lloyd’s parents were quiet and hard working.
“They’re trying to hang in there,” Nelson said, when asked how the parents were holding up.
Police have not yet made any arrests.
Morgan's basketball remains on the grass at the playground.
Young victims of gun violence
Lloyd Morgan is at least the fourth New York City child under age 10 to be struck by stray gunfire this year. Here are the others, all of whom survived:
- July 8: Three-year-old Isaiah Rivera was shot in the leg while playing in a sprinkler in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
- April 26: Nine-year-old Dulce Cabrera was grazed in the foot by a bullet while walking home from church in East New York, Brooklyn.
- February 21: Eight-year-old Armando Bigo was shot in the shoulder while buying potato chips at a bodega in the Soundview section of the Bronx.
Melody Nelson, above, places a baseball bat at the shrine neighbors erected for Morgan outside the apartment building where he lived.
Bloomberg once again makes gun control push
The slaying of Lloyd, along with the recent massacre in a Colorado movie theater, has prompted Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a number of other city officials to continue to speak out on gun violence.
“Four years old, life snuffed out,” Bloomberg said Monday at a press conference. “There’s not a lot else to say. We all know the scourge of guns on our streets, and we have to get them off.”
For at least the third time in two days, Bloomberg also publicly criticized Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for not standing up more forcibly against illegal guns and gun loopholes.
“During the next presidential term, there will be 48,000 Americans killed with illegal guns,” the mayor said. “It seems to me not unreasonable that whoever wants to be president should tell us what they’re going to do about it before we go to the ballot box.”
An RIP sign for the slain child at his apartment building.
Child's murder makes some reconsider stop and frisk
Assemblyman Eric A. Stevenson, who represents the Bronx neighborhood were Lloyd was slain, was another politician to speak out today, declaring that he would re-think his objections to the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk program.
“If stop and frisk can prevent these types of crimes maybe we should have it,” said Stevenson, who planned an anti-violence rally for 5 p.m. today at the Forest Houses basketball court.
Nonetheless, a man who identified himself as Lloyd’s godfather said he didn’t think stop and frisk would have prevented the shootout.
“Stop and frisk is aimed at the wrong people,” said the godfather, who declined to give his name. “It’s aimed at the regular people that are walking down the block, going to the store. I have been stopped several times, no weapons.”
A shrine for the boy included a baseball bat, stuffed animals, candles and juice boxes.
All photos: Kevin C. Downs/Metro