A 6-year-old boy was shot to death Wednesday night in St. Louis less than 6 miles from the site in Ferguson where two police officers were struck by bullets hours later. The boy was in a van with family members—five of them children—when someone in another vehicle began firing at them, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports via a police lieutenant named John Green:
The family said that a black vehicle pulled alongside their minivan on West Florissant Avenue and someone inside opened fire, Green said. The father of the child was driving the minivan grabbed a firearm and returned fire, police said ... A 15-year-old boy and a 69-year-old man in the minivan were also hit. Both were being treated at a hospital. Police would not give their conditions, but said they were stable.
A St. Louis police officer who arrived at the scene of the shooting described the incident on his personal blog, writing that another officer drove the boy to the hospital because emergency medical support had yet to arrive:
EMS was coming, but they were too far away. It was too risky to wait for them, so we raced that little guy to the hospital in record time. We had all sorts of cars shutting down the route to the hospital, just like we would were a fellow cop shot and in need of medical care. That’s about the highest honor we can give a person, and this boy deserved it.
The child was pronounced dead soon after arrival.
There was a split second though, before instantly I guess, where I didn’t know. For that split second, the officer looked like any dad grabbing his sleeping boy from the car and putting the boy’s head on his shoulder to carry him inside to sleep comfortably in his own bed.
For that split second, it was a sweet moment.
The motive for the attack is not yet known.