Sunday, December 17, 2017
Public safety

Tampa police: 4-year-old boy walking with mom shot in the arm (w/video)

TAMPA — A 4-year-old boy was caught in the crossfire during a feud between two men Monday morning outside North Boulevard Homes.

Renaldo Moore, a skinny little boy known as "Stanky," was hit in the left tricep.

He was in fair condition Monday afternoon.

Police flooded the area, searching for suspects, bullet casings and witnesses willing to talk. Chief Jane Castor and Mayor Bob Buckhorn came to the area, known for neighborhood violence. In 2011, a 3-year-old girl was unintentionally hit in the leg during a shooting. A pregnant woman was fatally shot there in October.

Police say Monday's shooting happened at about 11 a.m., near some mailboxes at N Oregon Avenue and W Chestnut Street.

Renaldo was walking with his mother about 250 yards away, Castor said, when the bullet hit his upper arm.

Police are looking for two men, including 23-year-old Bakari D. Parks. Hours after the shooting, they got a warrant charging Parks, who has no permanent address, with attempted murder.

Castor said she is extremely concerned that people would open fire during the day in a densely populated area.

Just after the shooting, police sought help from the public to determine what happened and where the suspects may have gone. They got conflicting reports as they did an initial sweep of the area near the shooting.

Renaldo lives with his mother and an older brother and sister at the Columbus Court Apartments, just north of where the shooting took place.

Their neighbors said they were upset by the shooting. They know Renaldo because he often plays outside with other children. He loves riding his scooter, said Waynisha Hoyte, 19.

Hoyte said there have been a lot of shootings in the area, mostly feuds between different neighborhoods. Hearing that a child was shot, though, was especially upsetting, she said. She's a mother of two herself.

"They're not caring about bystanders," she said of the suspects. "They're just caring about themselves. I'd have a heart attack if it was one of my kids."

Several schools in the area were put on lockdown because of Monday's incident. Just Elementary, Stewart Middle Magnet and Mount Pleasant Standard Base Middle were put on full lockdown. Dunbar Elementary and Blake High were put on a modified lockdown.

Parks has been arrested nine times in Florida, including a felony charge of aggravated assault a week after he turned 12 years old, state records show. He has also been charged in the past with burglary, aggravated battery and contempt of court.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3433.

     
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