An Ohio family is mourning the death of a 3-year-old boy after an apparent drive-by shooting Thursday night.
According to the New York Post, the toddler, identified as Malachi Barnes, was in a vehicle with his father and two other children believed to be his siblings when the shooting took place at about 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
The car was traveling along Interstate 75 near Toledo at the time, according to police.
All three children were in the backseat of the vehicle. In addition to Malachi’s fatal injuries, a 10-year-old boy was reportedly injured by broken glass and debris.
The victim’s father, Anthony Barnes, and 2-year-old who was riding in the car escaped injury.
As WTVG reported, Malachi was transported to an area hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
According to Toledo police, the shooting is being investigated as a targeted shooting and not a random act.
Toledo Police Lt. Kevan Toney explained that authorities do not know whether the shooters knew who was in the car at the time of the shooting, the Toledo Blade reported.
Investigators conducted a search of the area Thursday evening but did not locate a suspect.
Additional details were not available as of the latest updates available. Authorities are asking the public for help identifying a suspect.
“It’s really sad to see such an innocent victim like this on Thanksgiving night,” Toney said.
Police Chief George Kral said it “just hurts all the more” when such a young child is the victim of a violent crime.
Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to contact the Crime Stopper hotline by calling 419-255-1111.
[Featured image: Malachi Barnes, handout]