Child paralyzed in drive-by shooting; family looking for answers
A reward for information leading an arrest is being offered.
FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - More than two years ago, a child was left paralyzed after a drive-by shooting, but whoever pulled the trigger has yet to be arrested.
Demarius, who is 7-years-old and is affectionally known as Pete, loves to read, and like many boys his age, he loves superheroes.
However, as normal of a kid he is, he has a unique story.
With a dream of being a police officer when he grows up, Pete has been a fighter since birth. Born deceased, he had to be flown to Detroit Children’s Hospital where they saved his life.
But his biggest fight would happen five years later.
On May 8, 2021, around 4:40 a.m., Pete was hit by gunfire while sleeping, leaving him paralyzed.
“It’s been difficult, but we get through it day by day. We make the best of it; it’s happened, we can’t change it. We do the best we can to take care of him,” said Verlin Hamlett, Pete’s grandmother.
It happened on the 3000 block of Prospect Street in Flint.
As a result of his injuries, Pete now requires around-the-clock care, with most of the burden falling on his grandmother’s shoulders.
“Pete has to be cathed every four hours. We normally start about 5:00 a.m. He has to have several treatments for his trachea; his breathing treatments assist him in his breathing, so we do that. We start preparing him for school, me getting ready for work,” Hamlett explained.
Police said cameras caught a 2006 to 2013 body-style Chevy Impala leaving the scene the night of the shooting.
Pete’s family – along with Crime Stoppers – is now hoping the community can help fill in the gaps and bring the shooter to justice.
“I hope that when they close their eyes daily that they see this little boy’s face and think about what they have did to this little boy’s life,” Hamlett said. “I won’t say that his life is ruined because it’s not ruined, he’s here with me. Because I didn’t think he would be here. But this is the result of somebody’s actions, and they need to be held accountable for their actions.”
Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in this case.
If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-422-JAIL.
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