A man who shot a 10-month-old baby in the head after being rejected by her mum “had no remorse”, police in California say.
Fayth Percy has had surgery to remove bullet fragments from her brain and is in a critical but stable condition.
Police say Marcos Echartea shot Fayth through a car window on Sunday outside a family party as her mum Deziree Menagh was trying to get away.
The suspect “didn’t even seem to care”, Fresno police chief Jerry Dyer said.
Echartea, 23, tried to grab 18-year-old Deziree’s hand at around 4am at the house party in the Californian city, Mr Dyer said at a news conference.
The pair had met for the first time a week before.
She pulled away and went outside to tell friends and family what happened, but when he followed her and tried to force her to sit on his lap she decided to leave.
Deziree got into a male friend’s car and he drove them both away. They were parked a short distance from the party when they noticed Echartea walking “hurriedly” towards the car.
“At some point when he got close, he pulled out a handgun and fired three rounds into the driver’s side window, which was up,” Dyer said.
“One of those rounds struck baby Fayth on the side of the head as she was being held by her mother Deziree, who was seated in the right front passenger seat.”
Police say they have “every reason” to believe Echartea knew baby Fayth was in the car.
He was found and arrested inside the house where the party was taking place, and has been charged with three counts of attempted murder.
Police say he is also responsible for a separate shooting at his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend’s house on 27 May, where one of the bullets “penetrated a wall and nearly struck another one-year-old who was inside”.
“That bullet landed approximately one foot from where the baby was,” Dyer said.
He’s expected to be charged with “multiple” felony counts for that shooting, including shooting into an inhabited dwelling and assault with a deadly weapon.
“It’s very apparent that Marcos Echartea has no regard for human life, even a baby,” Dyer said.