The mother of an 8-year-old boy who was shot in the head Thursday night when someone opened fire as many as 15 times into a car he was sitting with his two older brothers and mother asked for the public to pray for him.
Donnell Bibbes was undergoing a second round of surgery Friday morning and was listed in critical condition at Women and Children’s Hospital, according to a statement from the family.
“Please continue to pray for him as he fights to recover,” Chawniqua Johnson said in the statement.
One of Donnell’s brothers was the intended target, Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said at a press conference at the hospital with Mayor Byron W. Brown said.
“The family is leaning on each other for strength and asking the members of the community for prayers,” Brown said.
A $2,500 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter.
Most of the recent shootings in the Buffalo area have been gang related, Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said, adding that investigators get little help solving these cases.
A police source told The Buffalo News that the intended target “has come up involved in shootings on the East Side.”
The initial call came in as an accident about 10 p.m., and police first were directed to respond to a nearby plaza.
But the shooting occurred on the 400 block of South Division Street, behind the Buffalo Elementary School of Technology.
A grassy area is attached to the school, and the residential street consists of recently built and well-maintained rowhouses, with tidy lawns.
Police drew parallels to a previous shooting of a child this summer. Eleven-year-old Juan Rodriguez suffered brain damage when he was shot in the head June 29 while trying to get his younger siblings to safety.
That shooting occurred on Humason Avenue near the Cheektowaga border. Juan heard gunshots and rushed to the door to help his younger siblings, who were playing outside in the Schiller Park neighborhood. Juan is still in the hospital recovering.
Both incidents are believed to be gang-related and the two boys were not the intended targets.