The toddler was hit in the shoulder and is expected to survive. She was leaving a day care in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn around 6 p.m. ET when the gunman opened fire.
"This is the third child injured by gunfire in as many months," NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey told reporters outside of the day care center.
He said officers bandaged her and took her to the hospital in a patrol car without waiting for an ambulance. "They scoop her up, they jump back in the police car," he said.
She remains hospitalized in stable condition, Corey said.
"Someone knows him," Corey added, holding up a photo of the masked suspect. "Help us catch him before he shoots another child."
Police said the girl wasn’t the gunman’s target but she was hit by a stray bullet.
A 7-year-old girl was also shot while on a Brooklyn street corner with her mother on Monday. Dozens of others have been shot in the city since last weekend.
"When do we come together as a community and as a city and say enough is enough? An 11-month-old child was shot two months ago," Corey said. "Last week, a 7-year-old child was shot. Why does it take a 3-year-old to get us outraged? What about the 14- and 15-year-olds? They're children. They're getting shot, sometimes by other children. We need to fix this. We need to save these children and we need to save our city."
No arrests have been made.