‘Another innocent life has been stolen’: Investigators give update after baby boy shot, killed

PITTSBURGH — A 1-year-old boy died Monday evening after being shot while he was sleeping in his bed as bullets were fired outside the home.

This photo of Zykier Young was provided to us by the Stop The Killing, Embrace Life Media Facebook Page.

Pittsburgh police said they got a ShotSpotter activation for multiple shots fired in the 100 block of Rhine Place in Spring Hill just after 6 p.m. Monday. Police said they found Young shot in the head.

INVESTIGATION UPDATE

At a news conference Tuesday, investigators called the shooting “senseless gun violence that took the life of a baby” and expressed their condolences to the family.

Police said there was a shootout with multiple people firing, and Young was simply caught in the crossfire. Investigators said they recovered multiple shell casings from the scene, and they are examining security camera footage of the shootout. Police said some sort of “old-time rivalry” may have sparked the shootout. There were several 911 calls to report the gunfire, but police said those callers are remaining anonymous.

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“We need the people of that community to help us,” investigators said. “These shooters are going to be identified, and they will be held accountable for what they did.”

“I just want to emphasize the heartbreak I feel this morning,” Major Crimes Assistant Chief Lavonnie Bickerstaff said.

There have been five homicides and five nonfatal shootings in the last 10 days throughout the city, Bickerstaff said. She urged any witnesses to come forward to help end the violence.

Pittsburgh police Chief Scott Schubert called this a “senseless” tragedy and said the department owes it to Young’s family to find out who killed their son. He said the recent spate of shootings “has got to end.”

“Please, let’s work together to stop this,” Schubert said.

“Going forward, we need the public’s help,” Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said.

Hissrich said other local and state agencies have reached out to authorities in Pittsburgh offering their help to solve some of the recent shootings.

What we know about the shooting

After officers found Young at the housing complex Monday, they rushed him to the hospital. According to public safety officials, a police sergeant was driving while two officers held the baby in the back seat and worked to control the bleeding. Police said Young was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police said the bullets were fired from outside the home and then went through a window and two walls before hitting the boy.

Following the news of Young’s death, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto tweeted: “Senseless gun violence must end. Another innocent life has been stolen. We will work endlessly to find the actor and hold them accountable for this horrific crime.”

Police said they are still investigating. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call police at 412-323-7800.

Statement from family’s attorney

Attorney Paul Jubas, who is representing the Young family, released the following statement Wednesday:

“The family of Zykier Young appreciates the outpouring of support from the community. Words cannot explain our grief at this moment. Please, if anyone has information regarding the shooting, contact either our family or the police. We will be sure to respect the anonymity of anyone willing to come forward with information. Please help us find Justice for Zykier.”