A toddler was shot on Sunday morning after an argument between two tow truck drivers turned violent.
The incident occurred a little after midnight in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia. The drivers were sitting in their vehicles at a Jiffy Lube location and got into an argument, eventually exiting their vehicles to confront each other, NBC Philadelphia reported.
According to Philadelphia Police Department Capt. John Walker, this verbal spat escalated until one of the men went back to his truck, pulled out a handgun, and opened fire. It remains unclear what the argument was about or what incited it.
During the chaotic incident, a 3-year-old child that had been sitting in one of the trucks was hit in the leg by a stray bullet. The city’s controller’s office said that 15 children under the age of 18 have been shot in the city so far this year.
“Inside the truck was a 3-year-old child,” Walker explained. “Three bullets went through the door. The child was struck in the right leg.”
The child, whose identity has not been released to the public, was initially taken to the Temple University Hospital’s Episcopal Campus for treatment and was later transferred to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Walker said on Sunday that the child is in stable condition.
Police are now searching for the suspects involved in the incident. The driver, who is believed to have fired the gun and injured the child, was reportedly driving a black truck with tinted windows and a towing mechanism attached. The vehicle was unmarked.
Police are asking anyone with knowledge of the incident to come forward. They have also obtained surveillance footage from the Port Richmond Jiffy Lube, which they hope will shed light on the incident.
“We know this is a place that frequents drag racing and people watching those events,” Walker continued. “There’s usually tow trucks that sit in this Jiffy Lube.”
Speaking with ABC 6 News, local residents expressed concern over the incident and lamented the danger that their children continue to face.
“It’s sad. I have children, you know what I mean,” Hunting Park resident Hector Ponce said. “It’s a sad world we live in, a shame, a 3-year-old.”
“You have to keep them inside almost all the time because you can’t walk in the neighborhoods without worrying and you have to have a set of eyes in the back of your head all the time,” Steve Sachs of Kensington also told the station.
Newsweek reached out to the Philadelphia Police Department for a comment on this story.