In a news conference on Tuesday (March 16), Daisa Smalls recounted the incident that left her one-year-old son, Legend Smalls, “fighting for his life.” According to a report by CNN, officers in Houston, Texas shot a one-year-old baby in the head while pursuing a robbery suspect on March 3.
Daisha said the robbery suspect demanded her vehicle while she pumped gas and officers were chasing him. “I wouldn’t give him my car because I let him know that I have a child in my car and that I would not leave my car without my son,” Smalls said.
“Before I knew what happened they were already shooting at my car and I was just scared for my son’s life,” she said.
Houston Police Executive Assistant Police Chief Troy Finner said in a statement on March 4 said the 30-year-old man was suspected of committing two aggravated robberies. Police were chasing him in a vehicle when he got out of that car and got into Smalls’ car at a gas station. Police say they shot the suspect when he refused to drop his weapon, killing him and wounding one-year-old Legend. They also say Daisa was not in the car at the time.
“Fearing for the mother’s safety, one of our officers discharged his duty weapon, fatally striking the suspect,” Finner said in a statement. “Sadly, baby Legend was also struck. Officers at the scene immediately rendered first aid to Legend,” the statement added. Finner also said he wasn’t sure if the officers knew the baby was in the backseat of the car at the time.
Smalls’ attorney Ben Crump said during the conference the officer didn’t follow department policy when he shot into the car, and that the family would be pursuing legal action against the agency.
The unidentified officer has been placed on administrative duty while an investigation into the incident is underway.
Doctors had to remove part of Legend’s skull to remove the bullet, but fragments remain lodged in his head, according to the outlet. Crump reported Legend has been on a ventilator for 10 days and has had more than 10 seizures.
“Why would they shoot knowing she was in the car? Not knowing who else was in the car” Crump said. “Regrettably and tragically, little Legend will live the rest of his life with the consequences of their decision to shoot into his mama’s car even though they knew she was in there.”
“My baby didn’t deserve this, my baby didn’t deserve to be shot, especially not by the police,” Daisha said at the press conference. “I just want my baby to be safe. I just want my baby to be healthy.”
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