Editor’s Note: We’d like for our readers to proceed with caution on this one. Though a career in policing prepares us for being exposed to the worst of the worst, the details about this story are graphic. Discretion is strongly advised.
FRESNO, Calif. – Police have arrested a man in connection with shooting a 10-month-old child in the head after he was reportedly rejected by the child’s mother at a party, according to USA Today.
Authorities say 23-year-old Marcos Antonio Echartea showed “no regard for human life, even a baby,” after he allegedly fired a handgun into a car where a baby, her mother and another male friend were inside.
Echartea now faces charges of attempted murder, endangering a child, assault with a firearm and more, totally nine felonies.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer commented on the horrific nature of the incident.
“I know the parents are broken,” Dyer told reporters. “They are hurting. We held hands at the hospital and prayed for the baby, and we’re asking that everyone in this community come together and pray for baby Fayth for a complete recovery.”
The 10-month-old girl was identified as Fayth Percy. She was rushed to a hospital immediately following the shooting. Medical professionals removed bullet fragments from her head and said that the child is in critical but stable condition.
So what led to this horrific attack?
Police say it all stemmed from a rejection at a party. According to statements, 18-year-old Deziree Menagh denied Echartea multiple times throughout the night at a house party in Fresno. She claims that the suspect tried to take her hand, which she pulled away, and then again tried to sit in her lap later in the evening. She again managed to get away from him.
As Menagh and her male friend took Fayth and left the party, they were apparently followed by Echartea and a driver in another car. When Menagh’s friend parked, Echartea allegedly approached the vehicle.
- READ: POLICE ARREST MAN WITH PRIOR DUI, CHARGE HIM IN DEATHS OF SEVEN MARINES AFTER MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
Then, all of a sudden, he opened fire. Echartea reportedly fired three shots into the driver’s side window, striking the 10-month-old as her mother held her in the passenger seat. Investigators say they believe Echartea knew that the child was in the car.
Dyer said that if the window had been rolled down, it’s likely the child wouldn’t have survived.
“We are hoping and praying that baby Fayth is able to survive this injury, as well as make a full recovery,” Dyer said.
This was evidently not the first shooting that Echartea has been a part of. Dyer told reporters that the suspect allegedly fired into the home of his ex-girlfriend while her new boyfriend was home just last month. One of the rounds reportedly penetrated the walls of the apartment, falling approximately a foot from a 1-year-old child.