“She’s stable. She’s going to be OK. God willing. It’s in God’s hands,” said Gomez. The baby is being treated at Manhattan’s New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. The little girl’s first birthday is on Friday.
The Bronx couple spent the night in the hospital, where doctors worked to save Catherine’s life. The couple have two older daughters, ages 8 and 9. The baby’s aunt, Nancy Ortiz, said her niece was just learning how to walk before the tragic shooting.
Miraida Gomez and her family have not released an official statement regarding the shooting. They are currently focusing on the health of their daughter.
According to reports, the shooting happened on Wednesday night around 6:45 p.m. Miraida Gomez and her daughter were sitting in their car at the intersection of East 198th Street and Valentine Avenue. They were waiting for Gomez’s husband, Louis Ortiz, who was in a nearby grocery store.
Witnesses say that an unknown gunman started shooting at the intersection. He was running after another unknown man and fired three shots, one of which hit baby Catherine in the left cheek.
“I hear three shots and I thought it was something else. I didn’t think it was a gun,” said a witness, Anna Maldonado. Other witnesses saw Miraida Gomez on the ground, holding her Bronx baby with a lot of blood. Catherine’s pink winter coat was later photographed on the ground, covered in blood.
The shooting was caught on camera and showed the gunman fleeing the scene after firing his three shots. The unknown man has not been identified and police continue to look for him. He is being described as an adult male with a medium build and was seen fleeing the scene in a gray four-door sedan.
The shocking shooting has angered many people in New York who are sick of the increase in gun violence. NYPD Deputy Chief Timothy McCormack spoke at a press conference after the shooting and said, “This is very difficult and completely unacceptable in our city that an 11-month-old baby is shot. Her birthday is in a few days. We were here last night with a police officer shot in the street. This is unacceptable and needs to stop.”
McCormack said that over 1,300 guns were recovered last year in the Bronx.
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark spoke to reporters and had a message for the gunman. She said that her office wouldn’t stop until he was brought to justice.
She said, “You could continue to go out there and think you’re going to get away with it, but you’re not going to get away with it. We’re going to find you eventually, because we’re not going to stop looking. We’re not going to stop looking. There are consequences when you do things, and I’m going to make sure that you’re held accountable for the things and the harm that you do to the people in my county.”
Mayor Eric Adams believes that this shooting should be a wakeup call for the city of New York and that it’s time to take action against the senseless gun violence on their streets. The newly elected mayor, who was a former police officer, has seen an increase in crime since taking his position.
He tweeted, “An 11-month-old baby shot in the Bronx. If that’s not a wakeup call, I don’t know what is. It should be unimaginable that this would happen in our city. But it did. Leaders at every level have abandoned city streets. I won’t. I refuse to surrender New York City to violence.”
Police are still looking for the Bronx baby shooter and are asking anyone with information to come forward.
Individuals can call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).