OAKLAND (KCBS / KPIX 5) — Police in Oakland are investigating a Friday afternoon drive-by shooting where a 2-year-old boy was shot in the upper body and critically injured while he was playing near the sidewalk.

A spokesman for the Oakland Police Department said it happened on the 9200 block of Sunnyside Street between 94th and 95th Avenue in East Oakland.

“There was a gun exchange between two groups…One of the bullets traveled to the 9200 block of Sunnyside and struck a young boy, 2-years-old, who was playing on the sidewalk,” said Sgt. Arturo Bautista. “We are extremely heartbroken and upset of this cowardly act committed here. This is not the first time a young child has been struck by the negligence of cowardly people shooting at each other.”

The child was hospitalized in critical condition. There was an active police presence at the scene of the shooting Friday afternoon.

“When something like this happens the shooters talk about it and people out there know, eventually find out, who is responsible for the shooting. We need citizens to take back the community. Call the police. Let us know who is responsible for this. This needs to stop,” implored Bautista.

The victim was identified as 2-year-old Diante Jackson by her grandmother, who did not want to release her name. “That’s my grandbaby and I’m just outdone, you know. I see other people go through things like this, and I would never think they’d happen to me. But I just thank God that he spared his life,” she told KPIX 5.

She said the bullet that shot Diante went through his liver and caused significant damage.

“Now, I’m feeling so unsafe I don’t even want my grandbabies out here now because of the situation,” the grandmother said.

Neighbors were also shaken by this latest act of violence.

“Just a bunch of cowards on the streets. And children are dying at the hand of, you know, just senselessness. This is crazy,” said a resident who identified herself only as Liz.

Police have not yet identified any motive for the crime.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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