A man who police said shot a 10-month-old baby in the head after her mother rejected him at a party has been charged with more than a dozen felonies, including attempted murder, according to prosecutors.
Marcos Antonio Echartea, 23, was arrested Sunday in Fresno. Authorities say he shot into a car where baby Fayth Percy, her mother Deziree Menagh and a male friend of the woman’s were sitting, striking the child in the head.
The girl had surgery to remove bullet fragments from her skull, and although she is still in critical condition, she is expected to survive, said Lt. Mark Hudson, a spokesman for the Fresno Police Department.
Echartea was charged Tuesday with 10 felony counts related to Sunday’s shooting: three counts of attempted murder, three counts of shooting at an occupied vehicle, three counts of assault with a firearm and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to a criminal complaint.
In addition, he was charged with six other felony counts in connection with a May 27 shooting. Authorities say he fired a gun into the home of his ex-girlfriend’s partner, nearly striking a 1-year-old child. Among the charges in that shooting are being a felon in possession of a firearm, assault with a firearm and shooting into an occupied dwelling, the complaint said.
In a news conference over the weekend, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Echartea “has no regard for human life, even a baby.”
“I know the parents are broken,” the chief said, noting that he had visited Fayth and her parents at the hospital. “They’re hurting. It tears my heart up to see a baby of that age lying in the hospital.”
Echartea briefly met the baby’s mother, 18-year-old Deziree Menagh, about a week before Sunday’s early-morning house party, Dyer said at the news conference. He tried to hold Menagh’s hand inside the home, but she pulled away and went outside, telling others what had happened.
Later, while sitting on the home’s porch, Echartea allegedly tried to force Menagh onto his lap. She again pulled away and went inside the house to get her daughter, authorities said.
She left the party with the child and a male friend, and they drove about a block down the street before making a U-turn, Dyer said. As the car was coming to a stop, Echartea quickly approached and fired three rounds into the driver’s side window, which was rolled up.
Echartea was arrested at the Hammond Avenue home later that evening. He had also been wanted for the May 27 shooting, during which a bullet came within a foot of hitting a 1-year-old baby, Dyer said.