A person of interest has been identified in the execution-style murder of a mother pushing her three-month-old baby in a stroller through the Upper East Side on Wednesday night, with police now probing domestic violence as a possible motive.
New York City Council Member Julia Menin, whose district covers the area where the shooting took place, announced the update on Twitter on Thursday – just hours after the brutal killing sent shockwaves through the affluent Manhattan neighbourhood and officials blamed the “over-proliferation” of guns in the city.
An NYPD spokesperson confirmed to The Independent that there is a person of interest in the case but that no one has been taken into police custody at this time.
Police would not release the man’s identity, disclose his connection to the victim or confirm whether or not they knew his whereabouts.
The 20-year-old mother, whose identity is yet to be publicly released pending notification of next of kin, was temporarily living at a woman’s shelter at the time of her death, a law enforcement official told CNN.
The shelter on East 104th Street is just blocks from 95th Street and Lexington Avenue where she was shot dead on Wednesday night.
It is not clear how long the victim had been staying there or what circumstances led her to seek shelter there, however the woman is said to be named in multiple domestic incident reports.
The police source said that investigators had learned details about the mother and her three-month-old child from domestic incident reports where her name appears.
As well as the mother’s name, the reports also include the names of former boyfriends and a second child who was not with the victim at the time of the shooting. It is not clear if the person of interest is named in the reports.
The shocking attack unfolded at around 8.23pm on Wednesday night when a hooded gunman approached the victim from behind and shot her at point-blank range in the head.
Police said the suspect – a man dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt and black sweatpants – fled the scene on foot along 95th Street.
The woman was rushed to hospital where she was pronounced dead. The baby was unharmed.