Man charged after 2-year-old girl shot dead in mother’s arms in Philadelphia home

kali9/iStock(PHILADELPHIA) -- A 30-year-old man has been charged with murder after bullets from an automatic rifle ripped through a Philadelphia home, fatally shooting a 2-year-old girl in the head.

Two-year-old Nikolette Rivera was in her mother's arms in her North Philadelphia home Sunday afternoon when she was struck in the head, according to Philadelphia police.

A man cleaning carpets in the home was shot in the abdomen and hospitalized "in critical, but stable condition," police said. Nikolette's mother suffered a gunshot to the arm and a graze wound to the head, said police.

Freddie Perez, 30, was taken into custody on Tuesday. He was formally charged Wednesday with charges including murder, said police.

On Wednesday, a second male suspect was taken into custody on unrelated charges, according to police.

"He has not yet been formally charged, so at this time we cannot identify him," police said Thursday. "This remains a highly active and fluid investigation."

Nikolette's death came one day after an 11-month-old boy was shot four times, including in the head and neck, while he was in the back of a car in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Hunting Park.

He has no chance for a full recovery and if he survives he most likely will be a quadriplegic, Philadelphia Police Capt. Nicholas Brown said Monday.

The little boy remains in critical condition, police said Thursday, and no arrests have been made.

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