A 3-year-old girl was shot in the shoulder while leaving a daycare center with her dad. Officers are searching for a lone gunman, said the New York City Police Department (NYPD) on Friday evening.

The toddler, who was leaving a daycare in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn around 6 pm when the gunman opened fire, is expected to survive, reported Fox News.

NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey told reporters outside of the daycare center that this is the "third child injured by gunfire in as many months."

Officers bandaged the child and took her to the hospital in a patrol car instead of waiting for an ambulance, he said. He added that the officers scooped her up and then jumped "back in the police car." Corey informed that the child remains hospitalized in stable condition.

Holding up a photo of the masked suspect, he said that someone knows the suspect, and urged people to help cops "catch him before he shoots another child." The girl wasn’t the gunman’s target, but she was hit by a stray bullet, said police.

Corey asked, "When do we come together as a community and as a city and say enough is enough? An 11-month-old child was shot two months ago." Last Monday, a girl, 7, was also shot while she was on a Brooklyn street corner with her mother. He said that children are getting shot, sometimes by other children, and people "need to fix this."

Arrests are yet to be made in connection with the latest shooting. According to NBC New York, surveillance video shows the shooting. Police said that the male suspect fled in a white four-door BMW sedan that was driven by another person. An image of the car was released by NYDP. The shooter wore black jeans, a black mask and black hooded sweater with "waves" printed on the back.

Witness Mavis Warner said that she heard two shots and saw sparks fly. Then she ran because she didn't know which side it was coming from. Then she heard three more shots and "we see the little girl crying and the father holding the little girl, and I saw the blood coming from her shoulder."

Representation Image NYPD patrol car SoFuego/ Pixabay