Boy, 1, Shot in Head by Houston Police

Legend Smalls is still in the ICU more than 2 weeks later
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2021 3:36 AM CDT
Boy, 1, Shot in Head by Houston Police
Police say the entire incident happened in the space of a few seconds.   (Getty Images/Evgen_Prozhyrko)

A 1-year-old boy in Houston is still fighting for his life more than two weeks after he was shot in the head by police pursuing a robbery suspect. Mother Daisha Smalls says she was at a Chevron station March 3 when an armed man demanded she get out of the car, CNN reports. She says she refused to give him the car because baby Legend Smalls was still in the back. Police then fired several shots, killing the robbery suspect and injuring Legend. The boy is still in critical condition in a pediatric intensive care unit and his mother says he has had to have the right side of his skull removed, NBC reports. She says he has had multiple seizures and still has bullet fragments in his head. "My baby didn’t deserve this," she says. "My baby didn't deserve to be shot."

Police say the officer who opened fire thought Smalls was being carjacked by the suspect—who had crashed his car at the gas station moments earlier—and didn't know there was a baby in the back seat. They say the officer opened fire after the suspect ignored orders to drop his gun and show his hands. Police say they are investigating the shooting and the officer is on paid administrative duty, the New York Times reports. The officer, a 15-year veteran of the force, is "deeply concerned and hurting about that baby," says Troy Finner, who became Houston's chief of police Thursday. Attorneys for Smalls say police should not have opened fire without knowing who else was in the car; they plan to file a lawsuit. (More Houston stories.)

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