Darius King Grigsby: Nine-month-old killed in Merced drive-by shooting as mom pushed his stroller
Authorities revealed how little Darius King Grigsby was fatally shot while his mother and her boyfriend pushed him in his stroller
MERCED, CALIFORNIA: Police are looking for potential suspects in an alleged drive-by shooting that killed a nine-month-old baby.
Authorities revealed how little Darius King Grigsby was fatally shot while his mother and her boyfriend pushed him in his stroller on the streets of Merced, California, on Wednesday afternoon, November 9. Surveillance footage reportedly showed the baby's mother grabbing him from the stroller, crying for help, and screaming, "They killed my baby." The mother and baby Darius subsequently retreated to a nearby McDonald's, where the child was pronounced dead at the scene.
Merced police responded to reports of a shooting on Wednesday at around 12.36 pm local time and found the boy and his mother inside the McDonald's, where they discovered the child had sustained a gunshot wound. A total of three shots were fired from the car, per KFSN-TV. "Detectives responded to the scene and took over the investigation," the Merced Police Department said in a statement on Facebook. "It was determined that the shooting took place in the 1200 block of Q Street. Grigsby was being pushed in a stroller by his mother, who was walking down the street with her boyfriend. A vehicle drove by and one of the occupants opened fire, striking Grigsby."
Darius's great-aunt Elena Perez was joined by loved ones at the scene of the crime at Q and 12th streets, where candles, balloons, and toys were left in his memory. "I am still thinking that it's just a bad dream, but obviously, it's not," she told ABC 30.
Darius's mother, who has not been identified, was walking down 12th street with her boyfriend when the tragedy befell. "She is taking it very hard," Perez said. "She is still in denial. She is still thinking that it's not true." Merced police spent hours collecting evidence and surveillance footage from the scene of the crime. Investigators believe the baby was likely not the intended target. "I don't know why they did it and I don't know why they would shoot at someone that is walking with their kids," Perez told ABC 30. Authorities are yet to reveal any information on potential suspects, while the victim's family is urging the public to help them get justice. "If you guys were at the scene, if you guys were passing by and you guys saw something or happen to hear of anything, please come forward," Perez said. "We want justice for my baby nephew."
No suspects have been identified at the time of publication, albeit the investigation remains ongoing. "This happened at a busy time of day," Merced Police Lt Joseph Perez told Fresno Bee. "If there’s anybody out there that saw something that the police didn’t speak to, if they can reach out to the police." A motive for the shooting is still unclear, and a GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help cover baby Darius's funeral expenses.
If you or anyone you know has information related to the shooting, you are urged to contact Sergeant Kalvin Haygood at (209) 385-6998 or at [email protected], or Detective Steven Odom at (209) 388-7814 or at [email protected] Information can also be reported to Merced police anonymously through Merced area Crimestoppers.