As NYPD detectives pressed their search for a gunman who shot and killed a reputed Bronx gang leader Tuesday as he held his infant daughter, Police Commissioner William Bratton said the slaying highlighted the brutal reality of gang violence.

About 1:20 p.m. on Tuesday, Allen McQueen, who police believe was a leader of the Taylor Avenue Gang, was gunned down by an unidentified man who chased him and shot him in the head in the 1500 block of Taylor Avenue, police said. The gunman then fled in a Mercedes-Benz, investigators said.

At the time, McQueen, who police said had nearly two dozen arrests, was holding his year-old daughter Taylor. She was dropped to the ground and only suffered a small bruise, according to police.

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Bratton said the shooting appeared to be related to an ongoing gang feud.

"They have a total lack of consciousness about human dignity and human life," Bratton said about the gangs. "We are doing everything we can to scoop them up."

Bratton was particularly angered that the shooting of McQueen took place in full view of a public playground.

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"No matter how much of a criminal record the individual holding the baby had, to basically assassinate that individual in full view of the public playground right across the street" showed the callousness of the gangs, Bratton said.

McQueen had been wounded in a shooting a year ago, a law enforcement official said. McQueen's Taylor Avenue Gang had been warring with the rival Leland Crew for months, the official said. Back in March, detectives were looking at McQueen as a possible suspect in a gang homicide but never had enough evidence to charge him, said the official, who asked not to be identified.

The shooting of McQueen might have been retaliation for the March murder, the official speculated.

The NYPD has chalked up many of the spate of shootings and homicides to gang violence, particularly in the Bronx and Brooklyn. The 43rd Precinct where McQueen was killed is one of 10 high-crime precincts that have received additional officers in the Summer All Out program in which desk cops are sent out on patrol.