NEW YORK – Sobbing and clutching her son's toy, the mother of a 2-year-old killed when a stray bullet pierced their minivan on Easter urged police to find her son's killer.
"I want him to wake up every day and see my face and hear my voice and see my son's picture every day," Joanne Sanabria told reporters.
"I was driving and I heard the gunshot and I heard my son screaming," Sanabria, 28, said Monday. "God only knows how much I wish that bullet would have hit me."
Her daughters, ages 8 and 11, and her sister's family were also in the vehicle but unharmed.
According to police, the shots were fired as two groups of men argued.
An off-duty emergency medical technician, Angelo Cruz, heard the gunfire and ran to help the toddler, but the shooter disappeared. The little boy had been struck in the chest and was pronounced dead about 45 minutes later.
His father, David Pacheco, said Monday he owes his thanks to Cruz. He said the resuscitation effort gave him time to see his son alive one last time.
Grieving family and friends described the boy as energetic and always smiling. "He was a happy kid," his uncle Victor Castillo said.