One-year-old Legend Smalls, who was accidentally shot by a Texas police officer, reportedly had part of his skull removed in order to relieve the swelling in his brain.
The infant was shot on March 3 by Houston police officers after they opened fire at an armed robbery suspect during a pursuit. ABC News reports that the suspect jumped into Daisha Smalls’ car. Small’s son Legend was in the back seat. A police officer shot a bullet into the vehicle that killed the suspect and wounded Legend.
“They had to remove part of his skull to deal with the swelling of his brain,” attorney Ben Crump said on Tuesday (March 16). “They also had to remove the bullet from his brain. He’s had multiple seizures — over 10 seizures. He’s still fighting for his life.”
He added: “He’s still struggling to breathe on his own. He was on a ventilator for 10 days. But little Legend is strong, little Legend is fighting.”
Daisha Smalls spoke about her son’s condition while he remains in the pediatric intensive care unit. “My son has been fighting every day for his life… My baby didn’t deserve it,” she said.
During a Tuesday briefing, the Houston Police Department said Legend’s mother was parked at a Chevron gas station pump and was outside her vehicle when the suspect jumped in her car.
Smalls, 19, has a different recollection of the incident. She says she was in the driver’s seat when the suspect jumped into the car and sat on top of her. Smalls claims the police opened fire when she was still in the vehicle.
“They knew she was in the car, but they still shot anyway, knowing a Black woman was in the car,” Crump said. “Her life matters.”
Crump and Smalls say they will be speaking with the HPD in order to obtain body camera footage of the incident.
The HPD released a statement on Tuesday saying they are “hoping and praying for the full and speedy recovery of” Legend.
“Myself and Executive Assistant Chief Troy Finner personally went to the hospital to check on the baby and meet with his mother,” Chief Art Acevedo said, adding that the officer who shot Legend has been placed on administrative leave while they investigate.
The case is being investigated by the HPD Special Investigations Unit and the Internal Affairs Division. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is conducting a separate investigation.