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Hunt for gunman who shot 4-year-old

July 23, 2009 7:33:42 AM PDT
Police in Long Beach are asking for the public's help finding the gunman who shot and wounded a 4-year-old boy on Wednesday.The child is still in critical condition on Thursday, and is expected to make a full recovery. Family members identified the boy as Josue Hercules.

Witnesses said a man was arguing with a group of people on the 2100 block of Earl Avenue at about 7 p.m. when someone in the group pulled out a gun and fired. The suspect missed his intended target and hit the 4-year-old instead.

The victim's cousin Miguel Avila said the boy was playing outside at the time, and their family was celebrating his grandmother's birthday.

The boy was transported to a St. Mary's Medical Center.

"(The bullet) got stuck, so they had to take it out," Avila said.

"He's going to be all right now," he said

Police are unsure what the men were arguing about, but believe the incident was gang-related.

No suspect description is available. Detectives say the getaway vehicle was white.

The shooting has shaken the neighborhood.

"My kids play on this street every day. I think it's quite terrible that things like this have to happen in such a nice neighborhood," said Bruce Stroman, a Long Beach resident.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Long Beach Police Department at (562) 570-7244.

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