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NYC leaders scramble after heartbreaking shooting death of 1-year-old

The senseless killing of a 1-year-old Brooklyn boy struck by a stray bullet at a family barbecue left city leaders scrambling Monday for solutions to this summer’s epidemic of gun violence.

Davell Gardner, just two months shy of his second birthday, was shot in the stomach late Sunday night and succumbed to his wounds in the early hours of Monday at Maimonides Medical Center.

“I gotta watch my 1-year-old son dead on a table,” Davell’s heartbroken mother told The Post. “What am I gonna do?”

Still raw with emotion, and too distraught to even give her name, the mother uttered the brief response Monday morning on the same Bedford-Stuyvesant block where her son was mortally wounded fewer than 12 hours earlier.

The stretch of Madison Street outside Raymond Bush Playground was still littered with remnants of what had been a joyous gathering before the sudden violence: a small charcoal grill and table of food; a stroller; several plastic chairs, including the small black one where Davell was sitting.

But those were interspersed with dozens of NYPD evidence markers.

Mother and son were among a small group enjoying the cookout at around 11:30 p.m. when two men, wearing white T-shirts as masks to obscure their faces, approached and opened fire at least 13 times, according to police. Three adult men, ages 27, 35 and 36, were also wounded in the barrage, authorities said.

Only little Davell’s wounds proved fatal.

“We thought it was fireworks at first,” said a man who identified himself as Davell’s grandfather, declining to give his name.

The 74-year-old ran inside for cover when the bullets started flying, followed shortly after by his daughter — with the dying boy in her arms.

“ ‘He’s shot!’ ” the man recalled Davell’s mother screaming.

“This isn’t something we can allow,” Mayor de Blasio told reporters in a a City Hall press briefing. “To wake up this morning and learn that a 1-year-old child was killed on the streets of our city by gunfire is just so painful.

Davell Gardner
Davell GardnerCourtesy of the Gardner family

“Davell was just starting his life, and his life was filled with promise, and now he’s gone.”

Hizzoner labeled Davell’s death “horrifying” and the city’s continuing overall surge in gun violence “not acceptable,” but the briefing included no NYPD leadership to comment or field questions on this or all the other shootings that have plagued New Yorkers this summer.

De Blasio did vow, however, to find the men who snuffed out the young boy’s life.

“Every resource is going to be used to find this killer,” de Blasio said. “There’s no question in my mind that the NYPD will find them.”

As of late Monday, authorities had not identified any suspect or motive in the attack, though police sources said that an earlier altercation at the barbecue was being probed.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea visited Davell’s mother Monday morning to pay his respects, speaking with her briefly out of the earshot of reporters.

Later Monday, de Blasio visited the scene seeking to comfort the grieving mom.

“I told her we were here for her,” he revealed to reporters. “That we all were feeling what she is feeling, in some way.”

He repeated his vow to track down the coward responsible.

“We are going to find that person,” de Blasio said. “I guarantee it.”

Additional reporting by Steven Vago and Aaron Feis

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