UPDATE: Three-year-old Marlo Joseph was taken off his ventilator and is now able to breathe on his own and speak, according to his cousin Brittany Rumph.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — 3-year-old Marlo Joseph was going to get a snack with his family on Wednesday, when they were caught in crossfire.
On Friday, Marlo’s cousin Brittany Rumph spoke to News 8, and said the toddler is in stable condition, recovering in the hospital.
She says she is hopeful; but the tragedy, is changing their lives forever.
She said the past week, has been one of the worst of her life; bringing about a range of emotions.
“I’m struggling…I’m struggling, I’m disgusted,” she said. “But I’m also gratful that God saw fit to wrap his arms around Marlo, and to save his life.”
Rumph says Marlo’s strength is inspiring – but he shouldn’t have to be in a hospital bed at this age.
“Marlo is strong, and so we don’t have a choice but to be just as strong as he is,” said Rumph.
Police say Marlo and an adult were in a car when the shooting happened on North Clinton Ave, in the area of a Valero gas station and an AutoZone.
Police say the family had no involvement in the shooting: just an tragic incident of ‘wrong place, wrong time.’
“In his own community, in his own neighborhood,” said Rumph. “Something that should be a normal event,” she said.
Rumph says it’s on all of us to wake up, and consider how we can make a difference.
“We as a community owe it to Marlo,” she said. “And every other victim to do something differently.”
Rumphs says everyone plays a role.
“From a systems’ level, to politicians, to education, to the way we allocate funding and resources, to the schools, to health care, to mental health support,” she said.
County officials said they need more social service workers as well.
Both city and county officials agree there should be tweaks to bail reform laws; as one of the suspects arrested on Wednesday was a convicted felon, out on the streets awaiting his delayed sentencing.
During the preliminary investigation, police arrested a 16 year old wearing body armor, and 34 year old Travis Lewis.
2 handguns were also recovered, and more arrests may be coming.