He is expected to survive, the New York Post reports.
The incident comes as shootings have increased 77 percent over the past year, as of March statistics, according to the New York Police Department.
The boy was walking in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn just before 10 p.m. on Saturday when he came across two groups fighting.
He heard gunfire, the Post reports, but didn’t realize he’d been hit until he felt pain in his chest.
It’s not clear if he was associated with either of the groups, or if he was a target.
The boy, who hasn’t been identified by police because he is a minor, entered into a liquor store where he asked a worker for help.
The NYPD was investigating, as of Saturday night, but hasn’t made arrests.
The Post reported that police found at least five shell casings at the scene near Malcolm X Boulevard and Madison Street. They also were looking for any video captured on security cameras.
Meanwhile, the shooting comes as the NYPD reported 99 shooting incidents in March 2021, compared to 56 a year ago, representing an increase of nearly 77 percent, even as police drastically stepped up their efforts to arrest suspects on weapons charges.
There were 492 gun arrests citywide last month, which is an increase of nearly 67 percent compared to March 2020.
The 12-year-old’s shooting comes after several random acts of violence in New York in recent weeks, including a man from Kansas who was shot near Times Square earlier this week and a 75-year-old who was punched in broad daylight on Easter Sunday.
Another act of random NY violence: Kansas City man is struck by bullet
Chris Ruby, 44, was struck by gunfire as he walked down West 38th Street in Manhattan in the early hours of Wednesday morning, returning to his hotel after watching a baseball game.
The Missouri native was rushed to nearby Bellevue Hospital where he was treated for the gunshot wound, which fractured both his collarbone and his shoulder blade.
Police say they believe Ruby was not the intended target of the shooting, and that he was simply caught in the crossfire.
Purported gang member Brannovan Martinez, 21, was arrested over the incident late Wednesday and has been charged with assault, criminal use of a firearm and reckless endangerment. He has multiple prior arrests for drugs and assaults.