A nine-month-old baby was killed in a drive-by shooting in California as his mother was pushing him down the street in a stroller at around midday on Wednesday.

The baby’s mother and her boyfriend were walking along the street in Merced in the San Joaquin Valley when a vehicle pulled up and fired towards the three of them.

At least one of the bullets hit and killed the baby, Darius King Grigsby, who was likely not the intended target, Merced Police Department detectives said.

‘We don’t know what the motive is,’ said Lieutenant Joe Perez. ‘At this point it’s possible that maybe one of the parents was a possible target and the child was just tragically caught in the crossfire.’

In surveillance footage recorded by a neighbor and obtained by ABC30, but not published, gunshots can be heard and the baby’s mother can be seen scooping Darius from the stroller screaming: ‘They killed my baby.’

On November 9 at around 12.30pm Merced police responded to a call to a McDonalds at 13th and R Street.

Officers found Darius and his mother inside the restaurant. The baby had been shot and was pronounced dead at the scene, the police said in a statement.

Police say the shooting had taken place just one block to the east in the 1200 block of residential Q Street.

They launched an investigation but are yet to name any suspects and were filmed by local news outlets collecting the stroller as evidence.

‘My son deserves justice and so do his dad and I,’ said the baby’s mother in a statement to ABC30.

The baby’s aunt Andrea Bolanos also issued a statement on the passing of her sister’s child: ‘Always a cheerful baby. Always smiling and laughing. He didn’t deserve to go like this, especially this soon. He was just starting to enjoy food and being mobile.’

In a social media post Bolanos suggested that the shooting may have been planned as the driver knew how to evade detection by cameras.

‘Not much to go off of, the car knew where to go,’ she wrote. ‘Most of the places around don’t have any [cameras].’

Bolanos has started a GoFundMe page to help with the costs of her nephew’s funeral – which has currently raised around $2,000.

A vigil was also held for Darius on Thursday evening at Q and 12th Street, near to where the baby’s family live.

‘The violence has to stop, this stuff can’t happen,’ said Perez. ‘Our children need to be safe.’

The Merced Police Department have asked anyone with information to come forward.

By Admin