BROOKLYN — A 2-year-old boy was shot in a Bedford-Stuyvesant park in broad daylight Thursday after gunmen opened fire on the boy's father, police said.
Kuadir Simon, 2, and his 38-year-old dad, Lorenzo Simon, were in Herbert Von King Park, at Lafayette and Marcy avenues, when two men approached them just after 2 p.m., police and relatives said.
Witnesses heard the suspects say, "That's him," said Paul Browne, the NYPD's chief spokesman.
Simon turned and began to run, his young son in his arms, heading toward the Herbert Von King Cultural Arts Center in the park, Browne said.
The suspects unleashed two shots as the father and son reached the center's entrance, and then one suspect followed them into the center and fired an additional shot, Browne said.
Simon was hit once in the hand and Kuadir was shot in both arms, Browne said.
Both were rushed to Kings County Hospital, where they were in stable condition, police said.
Pretty Isaac, 33, Kuadir's mother, visited her son in the hospital Thursday evening.
"I told him I love him," she said. "His eyes opened when he heard my voice."
Isaac said her son said "mom" when he saw her.
Kuadir had just been released from the hospital earlier on Thursday after a bout of bronchitis, and his father had brought him to the park right afterward, Isaac said.
"I was devastated because I wasn't there [when he was shot]," she said.
Police initially said that Thursday was the toddler's birthday, but Isaac said that was untrue.
Police had one suspect in custody, a 19-year-old man, and were searching for the second suspect Thursday afternoon, Browne said.
Witnesses said they heard a couple of shots, which sent park-goers running.
Kidara Oneally, who works nearby, was outside taking a smoke break and chatting with two police officers when a man ran up and said there had been a shooting in the park, she said. The police officers raced toward the park, and Oneally followed behind.
"I saw the police bring the little boy out," said Oneally, who added that the young victim appeared to be about 6 years old. "There was blood on his shirt. His eyes were closed."
Oneally was shaken by the shooting.
"I was pretty upset," she said. "It was pretty shocking."