READING, Pa. – A child remains in critical condition following a shooting in ReadingÂ Friday. Police said the child was shot in the face while sitting in a car, and the shooting may be the result of a case of mistaken identity.
Instead of enjoying the summer like most kids his age, 11-year-old Melvin Parker, a rising sixth-grader at C.E. Cole Intermediate School in Muhlenberg Township, is fighting to stay alive after being shot in the face.
“It does touch people a certain way when a child gets hurt,” said Reading Police Capt. Paul Reilly.
Friday afternoon, Parker, his mother and another man were sitting in a car in the 100 block of West Oley street in Reading when a barrage of bullets came at them.
“There was potential for a lot more people to get hit by the gunfire,” Reilly said.
The man and boy’s mother had just picked up the boy from getting his hair cut. Shortly before, officials said the child’s mother and friend stopped at a store on McKnight and Windsor in Reading.Â
Officials said the suspected shooter, Cesar Tavarez, and another man confronted them.
The argument ended, but later officials said Tavarez followed behind and eventually opened fire.
“At that time of day with that many people in the area we don’t have shootings like that,” said Reilly.
The child was rushed to Reading Hospital, but later taken to the children’s hospital in Hershey. At this point police don’t know what sparked the confrontation at the store.
“There is nothing right now to say that it was a long-standing feud or argument between these two people,” said Reilly.
Officials also don’t believe the victims knew Tavarez, and police said Tavarez may have targeted the wrong people.
Tavarez is charged with attempted homicide. Fundraisers have been established to help cover the boy’s medical bills.