THE BRONX — Cops were questioning three people in connection with the shooting death of a 4-year-old boy on a Morrisania playground, including a 17-year-old boy "who admits to shooting rounds at that location," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Tuesday.
Lloyd Morgan was shot in the head by a stray bullet after a gun battle erupted during a memorial basketball game at the Forest Houses at 735 E. 165th St. Sunday night. Two men, Jason Courtney Kelly, 27, and Christopher Forte, 21, were also wounded.
Kelly announced the break in the case during a news conference at One Police Plaza. The identities of the 17-year-old boy and the two other individuals were not immediately made available.
"We are speaking to a 17-year-old who admits to being at the scene of the shooting, who admits to shooting rounds at that location," Kelly said. "It's a very sad situation when a 17-year-old is firing shots that hit a 4-year-old."
Three types of ammunition were found at the scene, the commissioner noted. The shootout arose from "some sort of dispute," he continued, adding that the 17-year-old claimed to have acted in self-defense.
As of Tuesday morning, no charges had been filed, police said.
Lloyd was the second young child shot on a city playground in two weeks.
Lloyd's sister was also a victim of violence — his father's former girlfriend strangled the girl several years ago.
The Rev. Al Sharpton called on the suspects to turn themselves into police, and he urged residents to help cops track them down.
"We appeal to the person(s) that shot Lloyd Morgan on Sunday night to come forth and do what's morally right for the mother and father of this young boy and turn themselves in," Sharpton said in a statement.
His appeal came one week after he invited Kelly to join him and other community leaders at a summit to reduce gun violence, and six weeks after he joined thousands of New Yorkers in a silent march down Fifth Avenue to protest the NYPD's stop-and-frisk tactics, which critics argue disproportionately target blacks and Latinos.
"He needs to come to the table and meet with community leaders, even some that disagree with stop-and-frisk," Sharpton said July 14 at the Central Harlem headquarters of his civil rights organization, National Action Network.
"I am fully supportive of stop-and-frisk starting today," Diaz declared at an anti-violence rally on the Forest Houses basketball court Monday evening. "Our community has to be protected. Let's stop somebody from being killed."
At Tuesday's press conference, Kelly called stop-and-frisk "a life saving measure," and pointed out that New York City has recorded 228 murders since Jan. 1 — the fewest homicides the city has experienced in 50 years.
"That is a remarkably low number," Kelly said. "We're going to continue the practice.... I think the numbers are validation for what we're doing here."