Donald Maiden Jr., an 8-year-old African-American boy, was allegedly shot on Tuesday by 46-year-old Brian Cloninger, who is white.
Maiden's grandmother said the boy came inside their Dallas, Texas apartment to get some toys, but when he walked outside to the parking lot, Cloninger reportedly shot him in the face for reasons unknown (video below).
Neighbors said Cloninger had been seen waiving a handgun at people before the shooting, noted The Dallas Morning News.
Cloninger stood beside his pickup truck as the boy was bleeding and reportedly told a witness: “Yes I shot that kid.”
Maiden, with his jaw bleeding, went back inside his apartment.
“When he ran in I just screamed. His mouth was just hanging off and it was just a big hole… I just threw him on the couch and laid him in my arms and put pressure on his mouth with a towel," Maiden’s mother, Latamarin Locklin, told CBS Dallas-Fort Worth.
Maiden is in critical, but stable condition at a local hospital. He is using a breathing tube and had a plate placed in his jaw. More surgeries are expected during his recovery.
“When I first saw him in ICU I started crying. 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," said the boy's father Donald Maiden Sr.
Cloninger was charged with injury to a child and is being held on a $2.2 million bond.