A 2-year-old boy was fatally shot in the mouth at a Newark apartment Friday and police said they were searching for the boyfriend of the boy's mother.

Authorities said the boyfriend drove the boy and his mother to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center shortly before 10 a.m. Friday.

The child, identified as Mikhy Robinson, was pronounced dead a short time later, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

"It's one of two scenarios," Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio said. "Either it was accidental or intentional. We really don't know yet at this point."

He said the investigation was in the early stages and police have yet to clarify all of the details surrounding the case.

Police did not identify the mother, who was being questioned, or the boyfriend, whom DeMaio called "a person of interest that we are actively seeking out."

The boyfriend was believed to be driving a white Pontiac Grand Prix, authorities said.

An official familiar with the investigation said the mother was asleep Friday morning and awoke to see the boyfriend holding the bleeding baby and saying repeatedly: "I'm so sorry."

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because that person was not authorized to release details about the case. The official said the boyfriend has a lengthy criminal history, which includes prior weapons offenses.

The child's death, if ruled a homicide, would mark the 90th of the year in New Jersey's largest city, which has seen an 8 percent jump in homicides in 2011.

DeMaio said the figures have improved since he took the helm of the police department in June, when murders were up 60 percent over the year before, and ordered an immediate reorganization. Since then, crime has gone down slightly and the number of weapons retrieved has gone up markedly, from 537 in 2010 to 703 guns in 2011, according to department statistics.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)