A 46-year-old man has been arrested after he allegedly shot an 8-year-old boy in the face as he was playing in an apartment complex, CBS Dallas/Fort Worth reports.
The victim, 8-year-old Donald Maisen Jr., was playing with friends outside at the La Bella Palms apartment complex around 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night when a bullet hit him. He was taken to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, where he underwent surgery. Currently, Donald is in critical but stable condition. He is expected to survive his injuries.
“He hit the ground when the guy shot him,” said grandmother Sharon Locklin. “Then, he got up and ran to the house and asked his mom for water, and his mom saw all the blood coming out.”
It was a scene that evoked his mother’s worst fears. “When he ran in, I just screamed,” said Latamarin Locklin, Donald’s mother. “His mouth was just hanging off and it was just a big hole,” she said. “ I just threw him on the couch and laid him in my arms and put pressure on his mouth with the towel.”
When Donald Maiden Sr. saw his son at the hospital, he was in a medically-induced coma.
“When I first saw him in ICU, I started crying,” Donald Sr. said. “I just put my head down in his bed and was holding his hand at the same time. And he opened his eyes. And when I raised back up I looked and there were tears rolling down his eyes and it gave me a little bit of spirit in my heart. It was joy, I guess he was kind of happy to know I was there. “
Local police arrested Brian Cloninger in connection with the shooting. He has been charged with injury to a child, and sits behind bars with a $2.2 million bond. There is no clear motive behind why Cloninger would have wanted to shoot the boy. The shooting is still being investigated.
Donald’s parents say their son has a plate in his jaw. While he cannot smile, the boy can wink and nod his head in code when he wants something. After the swelling from his latest surgery goes down, many more surgeries are expected to follow.
“Everything’s just too much,” Locklin said. “I just want him to get better and recover. And law enforcement can deal with everything else.”