Part of 1-year-old's skull removed after Texas police officer accidentally shot child

Legend Smalls was shot on March 3 by cops chasing a robbery suspect.

March 17, 2021, 1:45 PM

A 1-year-old boy who was accidentally shot by a police officer in Texas had part of his skull removed to relieve the swelling in his brain, his family's attorney said.

The child, Legend Smalls, was shot on March 3 by Houston police officers chasing an armed robbery suspect who jumped into Daisha Smalls' car, police said. Smalls is the child's mother.

"They had to remove part of his skull to deal with the swelling of his brain. 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," the family's attorney Ben Crump said at a press briefing Tuesday.

"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," he added.

PHOTO: Legend Smalls is seen in this undated photo.
Legend Smalls is seen in this undated photo.
Ben Crump Law/AFP via Getty Images

Smalls, on Tuesday, 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.

The incident unfolded around 11:30 p.m. at a Chevron gas station in Houston.

The Houston Police Department said Legend's mother was parked at a pump at the station and was outside her vehicle when the suspect got in.

During a briefing Tuesday, Smalls, 19, said she was in the driver's seat of her vehicle when the suspect jumped in and sat on top of her.

Police opened fire and hit the suspect, as well as the child, Legend, who was in the back seat. The suspect died from his wounds, police said.

"They knew she was in the car, but they still shot anyway, knowing a Black woman was in the car," Crump said Tuesday. "Her life matters."

Crump said he and the family will talk to the HPD to get body camera footage of the shooting released.

In the incident, officers chased the suspect for about three miles. A black Mercedes the suspect was driving was possibly linked to two aggravated robberies, police said in a press conference March 4.

PHOTO: Daisha Smalls and her son, Legend Smalls.
Daisha Smalls and her son, Legend Smalls.
Ben Crump Law/AFP via Getty Images

The Houston police department released a statement Tuesday evening saying the agency is "hoping and praying for the full and speedy recovery of" Legend.

The department said officers feared for the mother's safety when the suspect attempted to carjack her. The officer who shot the suspect and the child was a 15-year veteran of the HPD and has been placed on administrative leave due to the investigation, police said.

"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 in a Tuesday statement.

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, as per officer-involved shooting protocol, Acevedo said.