Houston mother speaks out after baby shot in head by police

Daisha Smalls said she has not received an apology from the department after her one-year-old son Legend was shot.

A police officer in Houston shot a 1-year-old in the head in pursuit of a suspect and now the mother is speaking out about the incident.

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ABC13 reported the shooting occurred on March 3 at a local gas station. Daisha Smalls and her infant son Legend were parked when a man crashed into the parking lot and entered her vehicle by force. Officers had chased the man for about three miles before they arrived at the gas station. According to the news outlet, when the man entered her vehicle, he sat on top of her and she refused to get out.

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(Photo via Twitter @TJParker ABC13)

Police claim the man had a gun and feared he was robbing Smalls. They allegedly ordered him to drop the weapon before firing.

The suspect was shot dead by the officer and Legend was seriously injured. According to the news outlet, the police officer was unaware the child was in the car. One-year-old Legend Smalls had to have part of his skull removed and has endured multiple seizures. He is still in the pediatric ICU.

“They knew she was in the car, but they still shot anyway, knowing a Black woman was in the car,” said attorney Ben Crump who hosted a press conference with the victims. “Her life matters.”

According to ABC13, Smalls claimed that the Houston Police Department had yet to issue an apology or even check the health status of her son during her press conference.

“My son has been fighting every day for his life,” she said the outlet reported. “He’s struggling to breathe on his own. My baby didn’t deserve it. I miss my son. I want him to be back the way he used to be.”

NBC News reported, Smalls described an intense scene.

“The person jumped in my car, and the police were right behind him,” Smalls said. “Before I knew what [was] happening, they were already shooting out my car, and I was just scared for my son’s life.

Crump stated the police should not have fired whether they were aware of Legend’s presence.

“The objectiveness is that there are innocent people in the line of fire. And we know that you do not shoot, unless you know what your target is,” Crump said. “And clearly the Houston police did not know their target, because they hit Legend squarely in the skull. Not a graze wound.”

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HPD Executive Assistant Chief Troy Finner issued a statement shortly after the shooting, ABC13 reported.

“The most important thing right here, for our entire city, pray for this 1-year-old and that mother,” he said. “Can you imagine? She’s pumping gas, probably coming from work or whatever, and has to go through this. And now she’s in the hospital and we’re all praying for that baby.”

The officer responsible for firing the shot has been placed on administrative leave as standard procedure. NBC reported the police department’s internal affairs and special investigations units are leading an investigation. According to Finner, the following day, the officer was “deeply concerned” for Legend.

Police Officers Shot In North Philadelphia
(Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Police Chief Art Acevedo issued a statement on behalf of the department.

“Fearing for the mother’s safety, one of our officers discharged his duty weapon, fatally striking the suspect,” the statement said. “Sadly, baby Legend was also struck. Officers at the scene immediately rendered first aid to Legend.”

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