RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — A teenager has been arrested on a charge of attempted first-degree murder after he shot a 1-year-old child last week outside a home in the 800 block of West Fifth St., Riviera Beach police said.
"It is irresponsible to just fire gunshots at an individual," Riviera Beach Police Chief Nathan Osgood said shortly after the arrest. "We do not believe the baby was the intended target."
WPTV is not identifying the name of the 1-year-old victim or the 17-year-old suspect since both are underage.
"There is beef between this guy and maybe another group," Osgood said. "That is basically all I can say. I will not call it gang-related just yet, but there is definitely some type of beef going on."
The baby is still recovering at St. Mary's Medical Center after being rushed there by three Riviera Beach police officers. Sources told Contact 5 investigator Merris Badcock that the baby was shot through the head.
"I have said it many times and I will say it now: the actions of the officers last week, the decision of Capt. Glen Meyer, absolutely saved the child's life," Osgood said. "It is rare. It is emotional. It is draining. It wears you out you know to see something like that."
Detectives were able to secure an arrest one week after the child was shot.
The 11th-grade suspect was dismissed from Palm Beach Lakes High School and most recently attended an alternative school in the county.
Officers from the West Palm Beach Police Department and U.S. marshals also assisted with the investigation, since it crossed jurisdictional boundaries.
"I am proud to say this is a collective unified effort in law enforcement to bring this person to justice," Osgood said. "I am proud of the men that you see behind me."