BELLEVILLE, New Jersey (WABC) — A father was killed in a drive-by shooting in front of his four-year-old son in New Jersey. The child was also shot – doctors expect him to survive.

Eyewitnesses say the shooter drove right up the driveway at an apartment complex on Mill Street in Belleville before gunning down the father – and that his last words were calling out for his kids.

It happened on Saturday afternoon. The festive neighborhood was drained of its Christmas spirit and flooded by police lights.

The father, identified by authorities as Francis Medina, and his kids were right outside the building when the gunman reportedly hopped out of his car and fired roughly 13 shots.

One of the children, a four-year-old was injured in the shooting, authorities say.

An eyewitness says he ran out of his apartment to help the children and to try to cover the other toddler’s eyes from seeing his father bleeding on the ground.

The getaway driver then sped off with the shooter.

The child who was injured was rushed to the hospital. The Essex County Prosecutor’s office says the 37-year-old father died from his wounds.

It was enough to bring the community to tears.

“As you can see – Christmas – everybody is festive. We don’t…they don’t do that here. This is rare. And you’re here tonight and you’ll probably never hear of it again in this lifetime,. That’s how quiet it is here,” said one neighbor.

Neighbors say the mother of the four-year-old who was injured is in the hospital right now with her child.

The Essex County Prosecutor’s office are still searching for the suspects.

ALSO READ | Fake Walmart Christmas party turns into genuine toy drive

Joe Torres interviewed Drew Delgado, the person who posted the original event on Facebook.

This is a breaking news story, check back for details.

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