(BrightPress.org) – A toddler in Tennessee was killed on New Year’s Eve when a stray bullet that authorities said was the result of “celebratory gunfire” flew through a window and struck the child. Brayden Smith, 3, was home with his family inside their apartment in Northeast Memphis when the projectile crashed through their window at approximately 6 p.m., according to the police.
Smith was rushed to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital but succumbed to the damage of his wounds and died on January 3rd.
Police believe the shooter was in another part of the apartment complex. They reported that their gunshot detection software recorded over 300 shots in Memphis between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. They added that they received 195 calls related to gunfire.
So far no suspects have been identified in the shooting and police said they’re continuing the investigation with the hope of bringing the shooter to justice. They’re asking anyone with information to contact the Memphis Police Department.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe has been set up to help cover the costs of the funeral for young Brayden. Organizer Jaleesha Brown described how the intent was to help alleviate the cost of the funeral for the family and show support and love as a community.
Police Chief Don Crowe said they attempted to stress that firing into the air is illegal and can cause tragedies like the death of young Brayden. Basic firearm safety includes always directing weapon fire toward safe targets, and doing your best to make sure there is nothing behind or adjacent to the target that can’t be hit safely. Wild firing is highly discouraged by gun safety experts.
The Memphis-based Touched by an Angel Foundation donated a small amount of funds to his family. They regularly supply meals to those in need who reside in the complex. The child’s grandmother described him as “one of a kind.”
Brayden’s death is the 398th homicide in Memphis for 2023. The New York Post noted that the city held the record for most murders per capita across all major U.S. cities for the year.
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