MERCED, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — The makeshift memorial on 12th and Q Street in Merced, California, went from a single teddy bear to a collection of toys on Thursday as people came to pay their respects to nine-month-old Darius King Grigsby, who police say was shot and killed on Wednesday while his mother and a friend walked him in a stroller.
“One of the adults that was with the baby was probably the intended target, but we just don’t know that at this point. We’re still trying to piece it together,” said Joey Perez with the Merced Police Department.
Police say it was a drive-by shooting. A car pulled up and fired shots toward the mother, her male companion and her baby. Darius died at the scene.
“Yesterday, some of our officers had a difficult time dealing with the fact that they tried lifesaving efforts on this child that had just been shot … and to be there first hand to see it … it’s very traumatizing for everyone involved,” Perez said.
One woman who came to drop off a toy with her grandson says she’s lived in the neighborhood for 30 years and has watched the area change.
“Growing up, it was a safe neighborhood. Now, we’re having to bury nine-month-old babies,” she said.
Investigators say they have gathered surveillance video, and they’re working on pinpointing a suspect vehicle. They are asking anyone who might have seen or heard anything to report it to authorities — which can be done anonymously.