An 8-year-old African-American boy in Texas is struggling to recover after being shot in the face by a 46-year-old white man, but authorities have not been able to determine a motive.
Dallas police said that Donald Maiden Jr., who had just celebrated his 8th birthday on Sunday, was playing tag outside his apartment complex on Tuesday. According to his grandmother, Maiden ran inside to get some toys and was shot as came back outside.
Witnesses told police that 46-year-old Brian Cloninger had been seen waiving a handgun at people prior to the shooting, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Police reports said that Cloninger was seen standing beside his pickup truck as the boy was bleeding, and a witness asked him if he shot the boy.
"Yes I shot that kid," Cloninger reportedly said.
Maiden's mother, Latamarin Locklin, recalled the aftermath of the shooting to KTVT on Thursday.
"When he ran in I just screamed," she said. "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 the towel."
Locklin couldn't understand why anyone would shoot her child "out of the blue."
Maiden was in critical but stable condition as of Thursday. He still needed a breathing tube and had a plate in his jaw. He he could wink and nod to communicate, but could not talk. The boy was expected to have more surgeries after swelling from the most-recent surgeries goes down.
Cloninger was charged with injury to a child, and was being held $2.2 million dollar bond.