MANATEE -- A 4-year-old boy remains in stable condition after being struck by a bullet during a drive-by shooting.
The shooting occurred at 11:19 a.m. Saturday on the 2600 block of 36th Avenue West, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies say the vehicle drove down the block, turned around, made a right onto 26th Street West and then fired several shots at the home where the boy lives with his mother.
One of the bullets entered into the bedroom window, striking the boy in the upper body. No one else was injured.
There were two adults in the home at the time of the shooting, according to Manatee Sheriff Brad Steube at the scene. He said they had one witness who saw the vehicle.
Authorities are looking for an orange Dodge Challenger or Charger with spinner rims.
The home the boy and mother live in is on the property of the Congregational United Church of Christ.
"It's a tragedy and we grieve with the family," the Rev. Dr. Bob Sichta said. "We have already reached out to them, we are there for them and they are a part of our community."
Sichta says the church owns several rental properties in the neighborhood. The son and mother, however, are not members of the church.
"We are thankful that he survived this tragedy," Sichta said.
The boy was airlifted to
Bayfront Medical Center and later transferred to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.
"It was some distanceand struck something be-fore it hit him," ManateeCounty Sheriff spokesman Dave Bristow said. "That is probably why he survived."
Detectives don't believe this was a random incident.
"We think it is targeted," Steube said.
The reasons the home was targeted is still unknown; however, the Manatee Sheriff's Office Gang Unit was on scene to assist with the investigation.
"The Gang Unit was out there because we got some information that made us believe there was a possibility that it was gang-related," Bristow said.
"The majority of drive-bys we learn we sooner or later have some sort gang relation."
Anyone with information is asked to call MSO at 941-747-3011 or CrimeStoppers at 866-634-TIPS.