A 20-year-old woman was fatally shot Wednesday night while she pushed her 3-month-old child in a stroller on the Upper East Side in New York City.
The victim was near the intersection of Lexington Avenue and 95th Street around 8:30 p.m. when an assailant approached her and shot her once in the head at a very close range, the police said. She was taken to Metropolitan Hospital Center and pronounced dead, officials said.
The attacker, who was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants, ran off after firing, officials said.
The child was unhurt, the police said. Julie Menin, a City Council member who represents part of the Upper East Side, said in a message on Twitter that the dead woman was the child’s mother. A city official familiar with the matter later confirmed the relationship. Police officials did not identify the victim and said they had made no arrests.
Mayor Eric Adams, speaking at a news conference at the site of the shooting, said the killing was another example of the scourge of gun violence in New York, and another reason he had made combating it a top priority.
“More guns in our city means more lives lost,” Mr. Adams said. “It means more babies crying as those who love them lie dead.”
Ms. Menin, in an interview after the news conference, described the killing as “absolutely unspeakable.”
She added: “This unrelenting gun violence has to stop.”
Stephanie McGraw, the founder of We All Really Matter, a Harlem-based organization known as W.A.R.M. that aids domestic violence victims, was just inside the police tape cordoning off the site of the shooting.
Ms. McGraw said she was there because she “got a call,” but declined to elaborate. Although the authorities said only that the circumstances surrounding the shooting were under investigation, she speculated that domestic abuse might be involved.
“You don’t just randomly shoot a woman with a small child point blank in the head,” Ms. McGraw said. “That’s rage.”
Just up Lexington Avenue from where the shooting occurred, Sophia Monegro paused while lugging a cart carrying a teal laundry bag into her apartment building across from the Samuel Seabury Playground.
Ms. Monegro, 28, said she had moved to the neighborhood a year ago and was not shocked. “It’s the Upper East Side, but it’s New York City, so there’s always crime,” she said.
“It’s hard to raise a child in the city,” she added.
Farther up the avenue, near East 96th Street, Brice Peyre, 58, was smoking a cigarette while watching the commotion unfold. He said he had lived in the same building on East 96th Street since 1991.
“This really is literally striking home,” Mr. Peyre said. “It’s right within the zone.”
He described the neighborhood as fairly safe and in more than three decades on the Upper East Side he could recall only two other fatal shootings in the area that attracted significant public attention.
Police statistics show that the neighborhood, a largely affluent area in the 19th Precinct, is indeed generally safe. There was one killing in the precinct last year and the one on Wednesday was the first there this year.
Mr. Peyre said the city had a creeping feeling of danger these days.
“This is not helping at all,” Mr. Peyre said.
Gun violence is out of control — everywhere.