A 10-month-old baby was shot in the head Sunday in a shocking act of alleged retaliation after the baby’s mother rejected a man’s advances at a party.
Marcos Antonio Echartea has been arrested after Fresno Police said he fired multiple shots into a vehicle carrying the woman and her baby—striking the child in the head as her 18-year-old mother, Deziree Menagh, held her.
The baby, Fayth Percy, is now hospitalized and in critical condition, according to The Fresno Bee.
“I know the parents are broken. They are hurting,” Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said. “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.”
Dryer said Menagh stopped at a house party in Fresno around 4 a.m., when she was approached inside the home by Echartea, KMPH reports. He tried to hold her hand but she pulled away and went outside to tell her friends about what had happened.
Authorities said Echartea followed her outside and tried to force her to sit in his lap, before she decided she wanted to leave and asked a male friend to take her and her baby home.
The male friend drove the pair just a short distance and had been trying to park the car when they saw Echartea walking toward them.
“At some point when he got close, he pulled out a handgun and fired three rounds into the driver’s side window, which was up,” Dyer said, according to the local paper. “One of those rounds struck baby Fayth on the side of the head as she was being held by her mother Deziree, who was seated in the right front passenger seat.”
Fresno Police officers were called to the scene around 5 a.m. and gave the baby CPR until an ambulance could arrive and take the injured infant to the hospital, where she remains in critical but stable condition after doctors removed fragments of bullet from her brain.
Dyer said Echartea, who was arrested on suspicion of three counts of murder, showed “no regard for human life, even a baby.”
After he was brought downtown for questioning, Dryer said Echartea showed “no remorse” when talking with detectives, KFSN reports.
"He had just shot a 10-month-old baby and didn't even seem to care or it didn't phase him,” he said.
Echartea was also wanted by police in connection with another shooting that occurred May 27 at the home of his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend. Dryer said he allegedly fired shots into the home, nearly striking a 1-year-old baby inside the home.
“The bullet landed approximately one foot from where the baby was,” he said.
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