BROOKLYN — The father of a 16-month-old boy who was shot and killed Sunday has not been cooperative with investigators, police said, as the manhunt for his son's killer entered its third day.
Anthony Hennis, 21, was pushing his son, Antiq, in a stroller to Livonia Avenue and Bristol Street about 7:15 p.m. when a gunman fired four .45-caliber shots, one of which pierced the boy's skull, cops said.
"He's going to be talked to [Tuesday] but up until this point we haven't received cooperation from him," said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly of the father.
Investigators said they believe the gunman was aiming Hennis, police said. The NYPD is offering a $12,000 reward for help catching the gunman. Neighborhood anti-violence groups, including Advocates without Borders and the National Action Network, have collected another $13,000, raising the total reward money available to $25,000, community leader Tony Herbert said.
"They should turn themselves in. I mean, how could you live with yourself?" said Antiq's aunt, Rina Miller.
The police commissioner said Monday that despite the father's reluctance, the case is progressing.
"The investigation is going forward," said Kelly. "We do have some tips that we're following but I'm not in the position to give you much more than that at this time
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes spoke with Antiq's father's family Tuesday morning and pledged to bring his killer to justice.
"We're on top of this, that's all I can tell you," Hynes told reporters after the brief meeting. "I tried to console them. It's very difficult in these circumstances."
Antiq's mother, Cherise Miller, tearfully recalled one of her final memories of Antiq. She said she walked into a bedroom in their home to find the toddler hopping on the bed, grinning.
"He's jumping on the bed, laughing," Miller said. "I was just sitting there. I didn't yell at him. I just sat and watched him."
Hennis picked up the boy a short while later.
"Then they were headed to his grandmother's house, three blocks away, and I never saw him [again]," the grieving mother said.
Antiq's parents accompanied the boy to Brookdale Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
"To see that? That's something nobody should have to experience," Antiq's aunt said.
Miller said that Hennis is in too much emotional pain to talk to police.
"He's mourning," she told reporters. "You can't ask so fast. You have to give him time."
Miller and Hennis have had a rocky and violent history, records show.
On June 27, Hennis was arrested for beating Miller so badly that she suffered a blood clot on her eye, according to a criminal complaint. He also spit on the mother of his child, pulled her hair and choked her at least three times, records showed.
Hennis, who police sources say is a member of the Crips street gang, called her and told her that he would kill her if she went to the cops, the complait said.
A judge ordered him to stay away from Miller after the attack.
"They're taking it very hard," said Antiq's great-grandfather, Floyd Hines, 77, of both parents.
"He was a very nice little kid and he loved me to death," Hines added. "He'd always gnaw on my finger."
Relatives said the family was planning Antiq's funeral Tuesday morning.