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'Please, stop the violence': Toddler killed by stray gunfire in East St. Louis

Two children were taken to St. Louis Children's Hospital. The 3-year-old boy died after suffering severe brain damage from the bullet.

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill — One child has died and another is still being treated at Barnes-Jewish St. Louis Children's Hospital after a stray gunfire shooting Sunday morning.

"Those are children, they haven't even begun to live their lives, haven't even had the chance to live their lives, and we need to stop this," Donna Oliver who lives near the East St. Louis scene said.

Oliver was sitting on the same bench when she found out about the shooting.

"When I hear about children getting killed, you know, or hurt in a horrific drive-by shooting it just pains my heart, it's just really sad," she said.

Police reported two victims, an 11-year-old and a 3-year-old were shot by a passing car on 15th and Bond Avenue just after midnight. The mother of the 3-year-old said the children were struck by stray gunfire. The children are cousins, a family member confirmed with 5 On Your Side.

RELATED: Children, ages 3 and 11, injured in East St. Louis shooting

The children were in a car with a woman at the time of the shooting.

"Please stop the violence, because too many innocent lives are being lost for such foolishness and life is too short for foolishness," Oliver said.

Both were taken to St. Louis Children's Hospital. 

The mother told 5 On Your Side the 3-year-old, Joseph Michael Lowe, died after suffering severe brain damage from the bullet.

"Have some compassion for our fellow man, especially our children cause they are our future. You killing our future, what future is there for us to have? We're not going to have a future if they keep this up, it's just sad," Oliver said.

East St. Louis police and Illinois State Police are still looking for the person responsible.

"You need to own up to what you did. I mean we just lost some innocent lives. Those babies ain't even had a chance to live, and that's the real sad part about it," Oliver said.

With kids and grandkids of her own, Oliver empathizes with the family.

"My prayers are with you strongly, and yours, and I can't pray for you enough," Oliver said.

If you'd like to help support the family, visit their GoFundMe page.

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