THE BRONX — Police are hunting a third man in connection with the fatal shooting of a 4-year-old boy in a Bronx playground, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday.
Detectives were concentrating on finding the suspect based on leads provided by residents of Morrisania's Forest Houses, where Lloyd Morgan was killed Sunday night.
Two men have already been arrested in connection to the shooting.
Cops charged Rondell Pinkerton, 17, with murder and criminal possession of a weapon early Wednesday. He told investigators he fired his gun in self defense, a police source said.
Courtney Kelly, 26, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon. He was shot in the stomach during the shooting and was in stable condition at St. Barnabas Hospital Wednesday.
But, speaking at a news conference Wednesday, the police commissioner said, "There are a lot of other people we hope to speak to today."
"We believe there are three shooters, and obviously the investigation continues," Kelly said. "The facts may change, but right now we believe three shooters were involved."
Kelly said shell casings from three different caliber handguns were found in the aftermath of the shooting — a 45-caliber case, a .380-caliber shell and a .25-caliber round.
He said the shootout may have been retaliation for a gun battle the night before between two warring groups of low-level drug dealers.
"One location where a group of people hang out and do low-level drug dealing against another location who do virtually the same thing," Kelly said. "This is the nature of the dispute, they diss each other.
"This in some way, shape or form was part of retaliation for that shooting. Young men who hang out...were having this dispute at the heart of the shooting."
Shortly before 9:40 p.m. Sunday a gunman waked into a basketball court where a game was being played and started shooting, witnesses told police.
Pinkerton — and possibly another shooter — allegedly returned fire, hitting Lloyd as he played on a jungle gym nearby.
"A 4-year-old boy who never even went to nursery school was killed in our city," Kelly said.
Lloyd's mother, Shianne Norman, 27, a cook at Carnegie Hall, said Monday that there was "a massive amount of shots out of the blue. Then my baby was gone."
A police source called the incident "just a senseless shooting."
Another man, Christopher Forte, 21, was shot in the arm during the gun battle and was treated at Lincoln Hospital.
Courtney Kelly was the brother of a woman being memorialized by the basketball tournament — Troynisha Harris, 18, who was stabbed to death on East 166th Street on July 24, 2010.