Bullet strikes stuffed shark in sleeping toddler's bedroom, Madison police say

By  | 

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- A bullet fired on Madison's east side Sunday night went into a sleeping toddler's bedroom and pierced a Baby Shark stuffed animal, the Madison Police Dept. said Tuesday in an update to their investigation.

A bullet from a gunfire on Madison's east side Sunday night struck a stuffed shark in a sleeping toddler's bedroom, the Madison Police Dept. says. (Source: Madison Police Dept.)

After officers responded around 9:00 that night to reports of shots fired in the 4500 block of Cottage Grove Road, they found dozens of shell casings and damage to nearby homes and cars. Additional canvassing and searching when the sun came up revealed more shell casings, as well as the bullet found in a home in the 900 block of Vernon Ave., and the child's stuffed toy.

Tanice, the toddler's mother, said she felt "lucky" but also scared. She said her 3 year old was playing with the toy about 30 minutes before falling asleep at the foot of her bed.

According to Tanice, investigators said the bullet hit the gutter, traveled up, entered the 2nd floor room and made contact with the stuffed toy. The toy was five to ten inches from the toddler's head.

"If the bullet would’ve came a couple more inches, it could’ve targeted her," Tanice said.

So far, investigators have found 45 shell casings around the block.

"We believe this may very well be a record number of shell casings found after one incident of gun violence," Joel DeSpain, the public information officer to MPD, said.

On Sunday, they said no injuries were reported from the incident. They believe the gunfire came from opposing groups of individuals firing at each other.

On Tuesday, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway released a statement saying she spoke with Chief Vic Wahl about the case the previous day and she called it the department's highest priority.

"Gun violence is not going to be tolerated in Madison. The people involved in this incident showed reckless disregard to human life, and we are fortunate no one was injured or killed," she said. "If anyone knows anything about this, it’s time to speak up."

Madison Police have dedicated multiple resources from the Violent Crimes Unit and East District to the investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.