Toddler Bouncing on Bed Killed by Stray Bullet

$10K reward offered after NJ shooting death of 15-month-old Sania Cunningham
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2014 12:04 PM CDT
Toddler Bouncing on Bed Killed by Stray Bullet
Stock image   (Shutterstock)

"We're surrounded by balloons, and there's not a party in sight," says a resident of Ellis Avenue in Irvington, NJ, to the New York Times. The memorial balloons he's referring to are for victims of the ongoing violence in his neighborhood—including 15-month-old Sania Cunningham, who died Saturday when a stray bullet from outside pierced the wall of her apartment while she was bouncing on a bed with her parents, CBS New York reports. Police are now seeking out a group of men (some reports say three were involved, others say five) who allegedly infiltrated the community in "black hooded sweatshirts" and went on a shooting spree that hit at least two houses and a car. Residents tell the Star-Ledger that there was a "chaotic shootout," with the suspects "hiding behind cars, shooting back and forth," according to one witness.

A woman whose Lexus ended up with a bullet hole in the trunk says the violence is nothing new in the neighborhood, adding, "It’s like the OK Corral around here." Essex County authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for info leading to an arrest for Sania's death, while Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss stresses that the township has a recent $1 million influx to put toward hiring additional police officers, notes the Times. In the meantime, neighbors of the Cunninghams—who had just moved in two days before the shooting—remain disturbed about the incident that took place in the middle of the day. "This is sickening—if you can't actually be safe in your home, where [can you] actually be safe at?" one resident says to CBS New York. (A Philly woman and her unborn child were killed by a stray bullet last month.)

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