LITTLE ROCK – A 3-year-old boy being taken on a shopping trip by his grandmother was killed in a road rage shooting when a driver opened fire on their car Saturday evening because he thought she “wasn’t moving fast enough at a stop sign,” police said.
The boy and his grandmother were at the stop sign in southwest Little Rock when a driver apparently angry about the delay stepped out of his car and opened fire, police said. The boy was struck by gunfire at least once, they said.
The grandmother, who wasn’t struck, drove away and called police from a shopping center. Authorities arrived at the shopping center and found the boy in the car outside a JCPenney department store. The boy was taken to a hospital, where he died shortly after.
Police Lt. Steve McClanahan said investigators believe the boy and his grandmother “were completely innocent” and have no relationship with Saturday’s shooter, who was being sought. He said the grandmother simply was “driving the car and was taking her grandson shopping when the incident occurred.”
Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner told Fox 16 the shooting is a senseless act of violence.
“I certainly have no information to say that anyone in this family has done anything to cause this young person’s life but this is about as frustrating as you can be as a public safety official or just a plain citizen,” he told the television station.
Police said they were looking for an older black Chevrolet Impala that was being driven by a tall black man. They hadn’t released any other description of the man and appealed to the public for help finding him.
Last month, a 2-year-old girl was killed when a car drove by and someone fired into her vehicle; the shooter in that case hasn’t been captured.
Buckner said the road rage killings were frustrating for the police department and the community, especially because the young victims were “very innocent” and “can do very little to protect themselves.”
“We cannot have a community to where the least protected among us, being infants, who are dying these senseless crimes in our city,” Buckner said.
He said he didn’t know if the children’s shootings were related.