A 4-year-old boy playing at home was grazed in the ear by a stray bullet fired in an alley Friday during a dispute between two men in a case of "street justice," Long Beach police said.
The shooting set off an intense investigation and hunt, and late Friday night, police arrested suspected gunman Obe Isaac, 20, of Long Beach.
He was arrested without incident near the shooting scene at the Channel Park Homes public housing complex, Sgt. Richard DePalma said. He was charged with attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon, assault and criminal use of a weapon.
Isaac and another man had argued behind an Oak Court apartment, and at least one shot was fired about 1:10 p.m., DePalma said.
A bullet pierced a metal roll-up security door over the glass sliding door of a first-floor apartment, then an inside wall before grazing the boy's ear, the sergeant said. "Obviously he wasn't an intended target. It was an errant bullet," he said.
The boy's injury was not life threatening and his father took him to the local clinic, where an ambulance then brought them to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, DePalma said.
Detectives had identified the intended target, who did not want to cooperate, police said.
Authorities did not elaborate on the dispute.
"We believe this incident was an escalation of a prior situation between two individuals who know each other," Lt. Mark Stark said in a news release. "This is an unacceptable situation that could have been worse, and street justice will not be tolerated."
The housing complex, which is under federal control, has been the scene of several shootings in recent years.
In September, Isaac's cousin Tyrenzo Brown, 28, was fatally shot there. Three years ago, across from the police station, Isaac was shot by a fellow high school student, police had said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Long Beach police at 516-705-7320.