The grandmother of the 8-year-old Dallas boy who was shot in the face by his White neighbor says her son’s emotional health has taken a heavy blow.
D.J. Maiden has been recovering in a Dallas hospital after cops say Brian Cloninger, 46, shot him in the face in their apartment complex. His grandmother, Sharon Locklin, says her grandson may never regain the feeling in his jaw.
“He don’t want the kids to look at his face,” she said. “He says, ‘I look like a monster, granny.’ I’m like, ‘No, you don’t.’”
Cloninger is being held on bond and is charged with felony injury to a child. It is not known why Cloninger shot the boy. Community activist feel the charges are too low and have called for attempted murder charges.
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“We don’t want him to be on the streets,” she said. “No matter what charges is, we want him to stay in.”
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D.J. began his treatment at the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas; he is now being treated at Baylor Medical Center. He’ll undergo another surgery in a few weeks.
Here are more details about the case:
The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement that the serious bodily injury to a child charge is a first-degree felony that has a tougher sentence — five to 99 years or life in prison — than an attempted murder charge, which is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison.
“The prosecutors go for the appropriate punishment to keep a dangerous criminal off the streets,” the DA’s office said. “We go for stiffer punishment, especially when a kid is involved.”
Cloninger has a bond reduction hearing scheduled for Oct. 10.
“He told his mom, ‘If that man hadn’t done this to me, I wouldn’t be here in the hospital,’” Locklin said. “He hates the hospital.”
Maiden’s mother has been at his bedside since the shooting. His siblings at home have been terrified.
“He (has) a 4-year-old brother; every time somebody knocks on the door, he runs to the back of the house. He’s afraid,” she said.
Dallas police were on hand for a family news conference on Wednesday. Police Chief David Brown met with the family.
“I just want to reassure them that everything the Dallas Police Department and city of Dallas can do in order to affect and follow up on this case, we will do,” Sgt. Keitric Jones said.
D.J. hopes to be back home by Halloween. He is keeping up with his school work by doing some of it at the hospital. The medical bills are mounting by the day, so his family has set up an account at 1st Convenient Bank to help cover some of them. Contributions can be sent to:
1st Convenient Bank
Co/”Sharon Locklin for Donald Maiden, Jr.”