A 3-year-old boy who was out for a holiday shopping trip with his grandmother died in what police say was a road rage incident, leaving a family devastated just a week before Christmas.
Little Rock, Ark., police say Kim King-Macon was waiting to make a turn at an intersection when a black 2003 Chevrolet Impala pulled up behind her, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Her grandson, identified as Acen King, and a 1-year-old baby were in the back seat. The Impala blew its horn at her, but King-Macon honked back as she waited for traffic to pass. The driver of the car got out of the vehicle and fired one shot.
But King-Macon said she thought the driver fired into the air and continued to a mall where she expected to meet up with family. When she got there, she discovered the boy slumped over with a bullet wound in him. He was taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, where later died.
Police Lt. Steve McClanahan said investigators believe the boy and his grandmother “were completely innocent” and have no relationship with Saturday’s shooter, who was being sought. He said the grandmother simply was “driving the car and was taking her grandson shopping when the incident occurred.”
The shooting is the second recent road rage incident that took the life of a child. Last month, a 2-year-old girl was killed when a car drove by and someone fired into her vehicle; the shooter in that case hasn’t been captured.
Police Chief Kenton Buckner said the road rage killings were frustrating for the police department and the community, especially because the young victims were “very innocent” and “can do very little to protect themselves.”
“We cannot have a community to where the least protected among us, being infants, who are dying (in) these senseless crimes in our city,” Buckner said.
He said he didn’t know if the children’s shootings were related.
The city of Little Rock has offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for the boy’s death. Another $20,000 reward has gone out for information leading to arrests in the death of the little girl.
An earlier version of this story appears on JETMag.com.