“You shot a child. Whoever you thought you were shooting at, you didn’t shoot. You shot a child, a 2-year-old,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said at a press conference on Oct. 12, calling the shooting a “cowardly, violent act.”
The toddler, who was riding with relatives when he was shot, was expected to survive. He was being treated for a gunshot wound to his stomach.
Baltimore police said the suspect was identified as Javon Johnson, 33.
Johnson was arrested on attempted murder, assault, and various handgun-related charges. He was being held at the Central Booking and Intake Facility.
The shooting took place around 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 12.
Police said Johnson was driving a silver Mazda MPV. At least one other person was inside the vehicle.
Harrison told reporters at the press conference that police investigating the situation found the van and at least one other vehicle were at a stop light that was red. The light turned green but none of the vehicles moved.
“When none of the vehicles moved through the intersection, the driver of the vehicle where the victim was located blew the horn several times but none of the cars moved through the green light. After blowing the horn several times during the green light cycle, the driver drove around the cars at the light and then turned the corner,” he said.
The driver of the first car at the light drove behind the vehicle with the toddler and eventually fired into the car.
“Crimes like this simply cannot and will not be tolerated in a civilized society in a great city like Baltimore, “Harrison said.
He said police know about a “culture of violence” in the city.
“People want to settle their disputes using firearms. Many of them are obtaining the guns illegally and passing them around and using them indiscriminately and they’re shooting at people they know and even people they don’t know.”
“The decision to use the gun is not made when you use it it’s when you walk away from home with it. You’ve decided that ‘if I need it, I’ll use it.’ This is another example of that. We have to overcome people deciding to carry guns because when you carry guns you’ll use them when the time presents itself,” he said. Police “have to change that culture,” he added.
Harrison urged members of the public to come forward with information.
Based on the investigation, Johnson was arrested on Monday.