Nov. 16, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A toddler is dead after being found battered and bruised inside a homeless shelter in Elmhurst Sunday — and police are investigating the incident as a homicide.
The victim, a 3-year-old boy named Shaquan Butler, was found at around 7:40 p.m. by police inside the Boulevard Family Residence — a family homeless shelter located at 79-00 Queens Boulevard. The child’s parents called 911, police said.
Butler was unconscious and unresponsive with bruises throughout his body that were in different stages of healing, according to the NYPD.
The child had a faint pulse when emergency services arrived on the scene and he was then transported by EMS to NYC Health & Hospital/Elmhurst but could not be saved, police said.
The toddler was also found to have had a collapsed lung, police said.
The victim’s mother told police that the child began to act strangely and began choking shortly before they called 911, the NYPD said.
He then ran into a pillar inside the shelter, fell back and struck his head on the floor, the boy’s mother told police.
However, police say that story was inconsistent with his injuries and the NYPD has now launched a homicide investigation.
The toddler’s parents have been questioned by police, but no arrests have been made in relation to the incident, the NYPD said.
The shelter previously operated as the Pan American Hotel.