KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A 4-year-old Kansas City, Kansas, boy is recovering in an area hospital after being struck by a stray bullet during a weekend drive-by shooting.
The boy's family said he underwent emergency surgery late Saturday night, and is said to be doing better.
Witnesses said several people were outside of the home that evening because they were having a barbeque. Denise Brown said she was sitting just a few feet away from the boy when it happened.
"I started crying because he's so small, and you don't know who can survive anything like that, all you think is that I hope he can survive it," Brown said.
The boy, called "Baby Markel" by his family, was being held by a family friend outside of the family home near 17th Street and Stewart Avenue around 8:00 p.m. on Saturday when, according to KCK Police spokesperson Sgt. Emmett Lockridge, two cars started shooting at each other heading east on Parallel Parkway, which runs parallel to Stewart Ave.
Markel's cousins Tamera Ankarh and Tamia White said a family friend was holding the child when a single bullet hit the man in his hand, and penetrated Markel's stomach.
"It went in and out the back," the cousins said.
Markel was taken to the hospital with critical injuries. But a day later, there is a sigh of relief from his loved ones.
"We're still a little bit sad, but I'm still happy that because he survived through the thing and the surgery thing, he was OK," White said.
Ankarh said her baby cousin is alert and even talking a little. She said he remembers the scene from the night before.
"They said he knows that he got shot. He was making sure that the other boy that got shot with him was OK," Ankarh said.
Lockridge said the man holding Markel, who was in his 20's, suffered minor injuries. He also said a few miles away on Kaw Dr. near 57th St. Saturday, investigators towed away a silver car they believe had something to do with the shooting.
Lockridge said if you have any information about this case, call the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department at 913-573-6020, or the tips hotline at 816-474-8477.
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