An 18-month-old baby was shot in the upper left shoulder near the neck in a suspected road rage encounter in Houston on Wednesday.
According to police, the victim’s father, who is reportedly deaf, had inadvertently cut off another driver around 1 p.m.
“He said he accidentally cut off a vehicle and tried to apologize when he saw the suspect brandish a weapon,” Houston Police Department assistant chief James Jones said during a news conference, shared on the department’s Twitter account. “The suspect fired two shots at that vehicle.”
Asst Chief James Jones Media Briefing on Shooting of Child https://t.co/xrBCXzW758
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) May 1, 2019
“We believe it was road rage,” Jones said. “We have no indication that they knew each other.”
The Houston Chronicle reports that the father drove his vehicle, with his two children in the backseat, to a gas station for help.
“The guy comes in with his kid,” the store manager, Pursuram Sharma, told the newspaper. “The kid was bleeding from behind. He handed over the phone to me so I could call 911.” Sharma said that a nurse, who happened to be in the gas station, helped care for the injured baby before being taken to the hospital.
The 18-month-old, Brandon Jayden Ross, is in stable condition, according to KPRC, and is expected to live. The child’s mother, Summon Rudolph, told KTRK that the bullet came very close to hitting her son's heart.
"It was really close to his heart, but it didn't hit his heart. It grazed his spine, ribs and wounded his lung. He turned out to be fine," Rudolph said. "I'm super grateful that he's okay. I know he can make it through this because he's really strong. He's a fighter."
The mom added, referring to Brandon’s father: "He didn't hear the gun sounds because he's hard of hearing. He didn't hear the gun sounds, but he heard his babies crying in the backseat. Brandon started to slump over. [Brandon's father] grabbed his son and raised up his shirt as he was driving. He saw all of the blood pouring out of his chest and drove to the nearest store for help."
Police are working with a preliminary description of the suspected shooter and state he was driving a "newer model blue vehicle, possibly a Camry or a Honda Accord."
“It just makes no sense at all,” Jones said. “It’s just a tragedy.”
In a message to the suspect, Brandon’s mother said: "Just turn yourself in. I mean, take responsibility for your actions. You did it. Now take responsibility for your actions. Don't walk away. Don't hide. You did it."
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