An 8-year-old boy was shot in the leg by a stray bullet during a gunfight between his mother’s boyfriend and another person in New Orleans Tuesday evening, Nola.com reported.
According to reports, the mother’s boyfriend, 26-year-old Corneal Knapper, was arrested on counts of illegally using a weapon and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. It wasn’t clear whether police had identified the other person involved in the shootout.
According to police, the victim’s mother and Knapper drove the boy to University Medical Center to be treated for a bullet wound to his thigh about 6 p.m.
While investigators were taking the adults’ statements, officers recovered surveillance footage and saw Knapper arguing with someone earlier in the evening.
Knapper then got into his car, where his girlfriend and her son were sitting, and drove a short distance, police said. However, they said, Knapper then got out of his car and waved a gun in the air while he walked in the direction of the person with whom he had been arguing.
He then got back in the car and again drove a short distance before he stepped out, pointed his gun at the other person and fired, police said.
“Knapper appeared to be instigating the incident,” police said in documents filed in Orleans Parish Magistrate Court.
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Police said Knapper could soon be seen “ducking and dodging” as the other person shot back at him.
The 8-year-old boy was apparently hit by at least one bullet while he sat in the back of Knapper’s car, police said. Knapper wasn’t wounded, and it wasn’t clear if the person with whom he was arguing was injured.
Officers reportedly obtained a warrant to search Knapper’s car and found a gun under the driver’s seat. A gunshot residue test suggested he had fired a weapon, police said.
According to police they jailed Knapper, who has no prior criminal history, because he had “several” opportunities to drive away from the confrontation but instead engaged in it, placing the boy’s life in danger.
Magistrate Court Judge Harry Cantrell set his bail at $50,000.