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Infant hit by bullet fired on floor above him dies

An infant has died two days after being struck in the head by a bullet fragment that came from the floor of his Pennsylvania home.
/ Source: msnbc.com staff and news service reports

An infant has died two days after being struck in the head by a bullet fragment that came through the floor of his Pennsylvania home.

The Berks County coroner's office said 7-week-old Michael Johnson died Tuesday night.

Police said a man on the second floor of the home in Reading, about 45 miles northwest of Philadelphia, fired a gun into the floor Sunday night. A fragment passed through to the first floor, striking the baby.

Investigators said the boy's mother told them the gun went off accidentally. They're looking for the man they believe fired the shot, but Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams told msnbc.com that he has not yet filed any charges related to the case.

The Reading Eagle identified the boy's mother as 20-year-old Ebony Sanders, and said she was with the man on the second floor when he allegedly fired the shot.

Sanders ran outside with the baby after discovering he'd been hit, screaming for help, the newspaper reported. A neighbor then drove the mother and son to Reading Hospital, but doctors there had him airlifted to Hershey Medical Center where he died Tuesday night.

Reading Police Capt. Francis Drexler told msnbc.com that investigators plan to re-interview the baby's mother, but they are allowing her time to grieve the loss of her son. Asked how investigators classify her involvement in the incident, Drexler said she's "just a witness" at this time.

Police have not had contact with the man who allegedly fired the gun, Drexler confirmed, but would like to hear his version of events. He declined to name the suspect because he is not facing charges in connection with the case.

"We are encouraging him to come in and talk to police about this tragic incident," The Eagle quoted Adams as saying Tuesday night after he learned that the baby had died.

Adams told msnbc.com that he's hopeful the man will voluntarily meet with investigators on Wednesday, though there are "no guarantees" that will happen.

The prosecutor said if the suspect does not come in on his own, he will discuss the possibility of seeking an arrest warrant with police. He is not preparing charges against the mother.

Drexler said medical examiners will perform an autopsy on the baby Wednesday evening.