3-year-old girl is shot through wall by murder suspect firing at officers, police say

Aug 23, 2023, 8:09 AM

RIDGE, N.Y. (AP) — A 3-year-old girl was wounded when a bullet fired at police officers by a murder suspect pierced the wall of her New York apartment and hit her, police said Wednesday.

The man who shot the girl, 38-year-old Gary Jones, later took his own life after a standoff with police in the Long Island community of Ridge, Suffolk County police said in a news release.

Detectives investigating a June 19 homicide in which Jones was a suspect went to an apartment in Ridge Tuesday evening, police said.

The detectives were interviewing a friend of Jones who lived there when they learned that Jones was inside the apartment, Suffolk police said.

The detectives ordered the friend and the friend’s children out of the apartment, police said. Jones appeared from another room, armed with a handgun, and started shooting at the officers, they said.

One of the shots fired by Jones went through a wall and hit a 3-year-old girl in the next apartment, police said. The girl was rushed to a hospital, where she underwent surgery and was stable Wednesday, police said.

The girl’s father, James Toney, 35, told Newsday that his daughter had just been given a bath and was getting ready for bed when the bullet struck her.

Toney said he told the officers, “I don’t know what’s going on, but please help me. Please take my daughter.”

Police then surrounded the apartment complex and used loudspeakers to urge Jones to surrender, Newsday reported.

The standoff ended when police sent a robot inside and found Jones dead, Suffolk police said.

No officers were injured, and none fired their weapons, police said.

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