6-year-old boy still critical after gunshot to head; police now say mother was not shot [UPDATE]

[updated June 7 at 3:15 pm]

The 6-year-old boy shot Tuesday in Wilmington when at least one gunman opened fire on a vehicle remains hospitalized in critical condition, city police said Wednesday afternoon.

In addition, police corrected an error from Tuesday’s news release, saying that the 31-year-old woman driving the white Ford Explorer on the East Side was not shot in the arm. She was actually injured by broken glass or debris “associated with the gunshots striking the vehicle,” police said, and has been released from St. Francis Hospital.

Police have not identified either of the victims in the brazen daytime assault at Sixth and Spruce streets, but media reports have identified the woman as the child’s mother.

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Police and city officials also have not said whether they suspect the woman’s car was targeted or whether she and her son were innocent victims of an attempt to gun down someone else. Several shots were fired, police said.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families at this most difficult time,”  Wednesday’s written police update said.n conjunction with local and federal authorities, city officers “are working around the clock to identify and apprehend the individuals who are responsible for this horrific act of violence.”

Police said they have “received significant cooperation from the community and ask for continued support from anyone who may have information.”


A 6-year-old Wilmington boy is in critical condition after being shot in the head Tuesday in an incident where a 31-year-old woman also was shot in the arm, police said. 

The shooting occurred about 2:30 p.m. in the area of Sixth and Spruce streets on the city’s East Side.  

A source familiar with the shooting said the child and the woman were in a white Ford Explorer when at least one gunman fired several shots at the vehicle. The female victim is the boy’s mother, according to WPVI-TV (Channel 6.)

‘No suspects have been identified or caught.

Police and emergency responders treated the victims at the scene. The boy was taken to A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital, and the woman to St. Francis Hospital, where she was in stable condition, police said.

Mayor Mike Purzycki and other top city officials, including Chief Robert Tracey, also responded to the scene about six blocks east of City Hall.

“This is just senseless and evil,” Purzycki spokesman John Rago told WHYY at 4:15 p.m.

About 6 p.m., Mayor Purzyki issued this statement:

“It is unacceptable when any person is injured through acts of violence, but today’s incident is deeply disturbing because it involved a young child and his mother. My heart goes out to the family and my prayers are for them and our City as we fight our way through senseless gun-related violence. At the scene today, I learned more about how this incident unfolded and then tried to fathom what could possibly have caused someone to fire a weapon on a city street not knowing who could be hurt.

“For many people, it is hard to comprehend why these incidents happen, and yet for others, violence is an acceptable behavior, and that’s a very discomforting problem that all of us are going to have to solve. I will do everything I can through law enforcement and through the delivery of needed programs and services to reduce crime and assure citizens that we are focused on ending violence and stabilizing neighborhoods. I am confident in our long-term public safety strategies.”

Anyone with information is urged to call Det. Devon Jones at (302) 576-6206 or Delaware Crime Stoppers Tip-line at (800) TIP-3333. Tipsters can also text NNIXLE at 888777.


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