A 1-year-old boy is fighting for his life after being accidentally shot in the head by police as they chased an alleged robbery suspect who jumped into the child’s mother’s car in Houston, Texas.
Little Legend Smalls’ mother was stopped getting gas at a Chevron gas station near the Southwest Freeway and Beechnut about 11:30 p.m. on March 3 when the alleged suspect pulled into the gas station, with police shortly behind him, authorities said.
Houston police had been chasing the man for about three miles. He had fled in a black Mercedes, which may have been linked to two aggravated robberies, and after pulling into the gas station, the alleged suspect jumped into Daisha Smalls’ car.
Smalls was in the car when the suspect leaped in and told her to get out, her lawyer, Benjamin Crump, said.
“I let him know that I have a child in my car and I would not leave without my son,” Smalls told reporters.
The suspect allegedly refused to drop his gun, and one officer opened fire, killing the man, officials said. But the 1-year-old sitting in the back seat of the car was struck in the head by gunfire as well.
“My son has been fighting every day for his life,” the toddler’s devastated mother told reporters. “The right side of his skull is removed/.. he still has bullet fragments in his skull.”
Legend is still in a pediatric ICU. He had just celebrated his first birthday when he was shot.
“Before I knew what was happening, they were already shooting at my car,” Smalls said. “I miss my son. My son didn’t deserve this. I just want him to recover, I just want him to be back the way he used to be.”
Police said the officer who fired, a 15-year veteran, did not realize a baby was in the car. He has been placed on administrative duty pending investigation.