Khamani Garrett, 13, was walking to school when he was allegedly shot in the neck by 36-year-old Hubert Wiggs in the Bronx Tuesday morning. The boy is expected to survive and Wiggs has been charged with attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment and menacing.

According to witnesses, Wiggs was sitting on an apartment stoop and randomly pointing the gun at individuals passing by. When the suspect pointed the gun at Garrett it ended up going off. It is unclear if the shooting was intentional and police are investigating what happened.

Hubert Wiggs shot 13-year-old Khamani Garrett Tuesday morning. Police are trying to understand how a man with multiple gun arrests was out on parole. (Credit: Facebook)
Hubert Wiggs shot 13-year-old Khamani Garrett Tuesday morning. Police are trying to understand how a man with multiple gun arrests was out on parole. (Credit: Facebook)

Police reports say that the shooting happened at around 7:30 a.m. on East 223rd Street, near Bronxwood Avenue. Khamani Garrett was walking to the subway station by himself when he and Wiggs crossed paths.

According to the boy, Hubert Wiggs came up to him and shot him. The 13-year-old said that the older man couldn’t look him in the eye. Police now believe that Hubert Wiggs is mentally unwell.

The young boy didn’t realize that he had been shot right away and kept walking. He later said that he thought the gunshot was actually a firework. Surveillance footage shows Khamani Garrett stumbling across the street as he tried to find someone to help him. His mother said that the first person he asked ignored him. It is unclear if that person was Hubert Wiggs.

“The first person he asked for help didn’t want to help him,” mom Abigail James said. “So, then he asked somebody else for help, and they helped him. That actually hurt my soul. I could’ve been burying my son.”

A second passerby ended up calling 911 for the young boy.

The 13-year-old was rushed to Jacobi Hospital and is expected to recover. He had to undergo surgery after the gunshot. Luckily the bullet didn’t hit any arteries. When police arrived at the scene, they saw Hubert Wiggs, who was trying to hide the .38 caliber revolver.

“They gave verbal commands for that individual to drop that firearm,” NYPD Assistant Chief Kenneth Lehr said. “The individual’s initial reaction was to try and hide it in his waistband. They gave further verbal commands, at which time the individual dropped that object on the ground. When the officers moved in, took that individual into custody without incident and recovered a firearm.”

Because of his behavior, the 36-year-old was taken in for a psychiatric evaluation and is awaiting arraignment.

Police discovered that Hubert Wiggs had multiple gun arrests on his record and many people are asking how he ended up back on the streets. Wiggs was on parole for two charges that he got back in 2010. One was for possession of a firearm and the other was for possession of illegal drugs. The Bronx man had also been recently charged with a firearms charge in 2019, which he was currently out on bail for.

Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark is very upset that Wiggs was out on the streets and said, “Once he committed yet another crime after being on parole for a violent crime, the system-the parole system-should have held him accountable. And there should have been a parole hold on him so that he couldn’t even get bail in the first place on a new case.”

Some people blame a bail reform law that was passed in New York in January 2020 for the recent increase in crime. The bill says that criminals charged with non-violent offences and misdemeanors don’t have to stay in jail while they wait for their trial.

Bronx Detective Rick Simplicio finds it difficult to keep criminals off the streets because of the bail reform and he and his fellow officers have seen an increase in illegal firearms.

He said, “Bail reform laws allow them to be released and they hit the streets back the very next morning,” Simplicio said. “There have been cases where individuals have been arrested for firearms – more than once – and they were released, and they committed a murder.”

Detectives like Simplicio are asking N.Y. lawmakers to review the laws they put in place and help stop shootings like this one.