The gunfire erupted in the middle of the afternoon along busy Telegraph Road in front of the victims' apartment complex around 4:30 p.m. Downey police say a 20-year-old man was shot 4 to 5 times. His toddler daughter, who was outside with him, was shot once.
"It appears that he may have shielded her at some point in time during the shooting. But at the onset of the gunfire, he was not holding her," said Downey Police Lt. Dean Milligan. "It seems like she may have come from behind at the time of the gunfire, and he may have turned to shield her as the gunfire erupted."
Investigators believe the shooting may have been gang related. According to police, the 20 year old got into to some sort of altercation at a corner store. He walked home, but was then called out to the street where the sole shooter opened fire.
Investigators say the gunman fled with at least three other suspects in a vehicle.
The father and daughter were rushed to the hospital. Friends say the little girl's father is not in a gang, and they can't believe an innocent child was hit.
"The thing I hate the most is that's my daughter's friend, that's a 3-year-old child. That's just sick you know," said David Ibarra, a friend of the victim.
The 2-year-old victim was awaiting surgery in stable condition Friday night. Her father remained in critical condition following his own surgery.
Police say a suspect was detained for questioning and they are also following up on substantial leads for the other suspects.