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18-year-old arrested after baby shot outside New Orleans Costco

The child was inside a car near the fuel pumps when a gun went off, striking the child in the leg.

NEW ORLEANS — An 18-year-old man is reportedly in custody following a shooting at the New Orleans Costco gas station that wounded a 2-year-old child.

Court records show that 18-year-old Zyaire Cornelius was booked into the Orleans Parish Justice Center at 11:21 p.m. on Tuesday on charges of second-degree cruelty to juveniles and illegal possession of a stolen firearm.

The affidavit for arrest warrant said that the child was 2, not 1. as originally reported.

Around 3:50 p.m., a child was rushed to a hospital after he was shot in the gas station area of the Costco. New Orleans Police Department spokesperson Gary Scheets said the child was shot in the leg and a weapon was recovered. 

Scheets says the child is in critical but stable condition.

Cornelius said he picked up his little brother at 3:45 p.m. from his nursery located near Costco. While waiting in line to purchase gas, the boy was talking to him when he all of the sudden heard a single gunshot ring out. When he looked into the back seat, he saw that child had shot himself in the leg with his Glock 19 gun. He told detectives he had forgotten the gun was in the back seat.

The serial number for the Glock model 19 used showed the weapon was listed as stolen from of St. Tammany Parish.

A judge has set Cornelius' bond at $70,000. He is scheduled to appear in court on September 11.

Credit: Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office

Tuesday's incident is the third shooting of a small child this year. A two-year-old boy was shot and fatally wounded on June 22nd in Hollygrove. On April 25th a three-year-old girl was killed by gunfire in the French Quarter.

This is the second high-profile incident at the Costco gas station. In February of this year a woman was brutally carjacked here. Kelleye Rhein was putting gas in her car when a man climbed into the driver's seat and drove off. She was dragged by her own car for about 40 feet through the parking lot, suffering a fractured skull and several cuts in the attack.


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