OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Hiram Lawrence Jr., the 1-year-old boy who was critically injured in a mass shooting in West Oakland last week, will be taken off life support on Friday because two tests have concluded that he is brain dead, his family’s pastor said Thursday.

Pastor Roosevelt Taylor, of the Tower of Faith Ministry in Oakland, said Hiram Jr.’s parents, Hiram Lawrence Sr. and Brittany Houston, have reluctantly accepted the results of tests conducted by doctors at Children’s Hospital in Oakland because their pediatrician, Dr. Donna White Carey, has told them that they are valid.

Taylor said the parents asked Children’s Hospital officials to wait until Monday before taking Hiram Jr. off life support but hospital officials denied that request.

But he said the hospital agreed to wait until 1 p.m. Friday to allow the boy’s family time to say goodbye.

Taylor said the first test on Hiram Jr. was conducted Wednesday afternoon, and the second one was conducted early Thursday afternoon.

He said the tests included pouring water in Hiram Jr.’s ear but the child didn’t respond. Another component of the tests was opening the boy’s eyelids and moving his hands in front of his hands but his eyes didn’t follow his hands, Taylor said.

A third component was briefly disconnecting Hiram Jr. from a ventilator, and he had difficulty breathing on his own, according to Taylor.

The pastor said the test results are “devastating” to Hiram Jr.’s parents.

“They knew the odds were stacked against them, but there was an eruption of emotion when the test was over,” Taylor said.

The family’s attorney, Ivan Golde, confirmed that Dr. White Carey has validated the test results and that Hiram Jr. will be taken off life support.

Hiram Jr., whose second birthday is in a few weeks, was among seven people injured when attackers opened fire on a crowd of people outside a liquor store in the 700 block of Willow Street shortly after 6 p.m. on Nov. 28. A local rapper had just finished filming a music video there.

Oakland police say a man considered “person of interest” in the shooting happened to cross paths with the family of the wounded boy at the hospital last week, and a fight ensued.

The man was at the hospital around 9 p.m. on Nov. 30 when he encountered the family, police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said.

A fight broke out, and Alameda County sheriff’s deputies stationed at the hospital responded, sheriff’s Sgt. J. D. Nelson said.

Deputies realized the man was wanted by Oakland police, and detained him until police arrived. Watson said the man was arrested on charges unrelated to the shooting, and that while he is a person of interest in the shooting, he has not been arrested in connection with that case.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (28)
  1. Lynnette says:

    Such a tragic story. I lost my son in July, only one week and two days before his birthday. I’m sorry this family must go through the loss of a child.

    My heart is with them as are my prayers for a miracle – because THEY DO happen!!

  2. StevenTorrey says:

    This is terribly sad. The heart aches for the family’s loss

  3. Thalassa Highbrou says:

    I believe that Baby Hiram still has a chance to live. This was a brain injury on a baby and their expecting him to heal overnight! Wow!! What a terrible Hospital!!! The choice of terminating life support should only be the family members decision…unless, the patient’s other body parts show signs of “DETERIORATION”; BUT, BEING BRAIN DEAD ALONE SHOULD NOT BE ENOUGH FOR THE HOSPITAL TO BE ABLE TO USE AS AN EXCUSE TO REFUSE HIRAM’S SUPPORT FOR SURVIVAL!

    There have been many other miraculous cases when people recovered from being brain dead or brought back to life.

    The doctors may have their last words; but, God always has the final say!
    It is very possible for Hiram’s condition to be reversed.

    1. sfmom says:

      Actually what’s much more likely is that his brain may start taking on involuntary tasks such as breathing, but other brain activity would remain nonexistent. This means he might be able to keep himself alive but would remain in a vegetative state.

      This situation is hard enough on the parents, trust me I know. What they do not need right now is people saying things like, “There have been many other miraculous cases when people recovered from being brain dead or brought back to life.”, and “It is very possible for Hiram’s condition to be reversed.” Of course we all wish these statements were true, but they’re really not as plausible as you’ve made them sound, and if you have proof for that they are I’d love to see it.

      1. Thalassa Highbrou says:

        All what you’re saying to me just sounds like a whole bunch of “Blah, Blah, Blah”…All I’m saying in a nutshell is that Hiram deserves extra time to be on life support! And, yes…I do believe his candition can possibly be reversed!

    2. JaneQPublic says:

      Thalasssa H – Your pie-in-the-sky remarks – born of ignorance & magical thinking – do MORE HARM THAN GOOD. Time for you to back off. The parents need emotional support in dealing with reality, not mumbo-jumbo to make them feel WORSE!! Please STOP! They are already suffering enough.

    3. Mike Moss says:

      You ever think about what you write …. YOU”RE BRAIN DEAD!

  4. Jesus loves babies says:

    “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” Mark 10-13

  5. Thalassa Highbrou says:

    It would be enlightening if Poor baby Hiram’s condition be video broadcasted so that “we the people” can see his individual condition.

    Pronounced dead, man takes ‘miraculous’ turn

    ‘Brain dead’ woman recovers

    Husband Celebrates Miracle as ‘Brain Dead’ Wife Wakes Up in Hospital

    Man makes “miraculous” recovery from brain death after accident

    Lake Elmo woman makes miracle recovery from “brain dead” (MN)

    Woman Diagnosed as “Brain Dead” Walks and Talks after Awakening:

    1. sfmom says:

      Out of the six links you provided only three people’s stories are covered. So you found proof that three people came back from brain damage between 2008 and 2011. These are hardly the numbers needed to support your claim that “many other miraculous cases when people recovered” and that the likelihood is “very possible for Hiram”. How about finding some proof from peer reviewed medical literature where you might find the actual numbers of how many recover from being brain dead? The fact is that Hiram had already been on life support for 11 days, and the longer he stayed on it the more likely his brain might take over survival functions but nothing else.

      BTW, I know I’m not God

  6. Rose says:

    My prayers are for this family and baby Hiram. I believe in miracles and in despite of the test results being made on this little child the only thing I would say is that the doctors should wait.; they must not take this child from life support. It is too soon to give up. God is the only one who can decide over the life of this child.
    The doctors along with the hospital should respect the family wishes over this child. They should wait.
    This child is in God’s hands and we must have faith that he is going to be fine.

    1. Thalassa Highbrou says:

      I agree with you Rose.

    2. Hmmmm says:

      I am sorry but if God wants Hiram to live, he will survive off of life support (which is a man made machine from science). I thought religous people looked forward to the day of going to His heavenly kingdom. I find it sad that you are judging, when you probably have no idea what they are going through. I feel awful for his family and send them my love and prayers, not negative judement.

      1. Thalassa Highbrou says:

        HMMMM…whatever your name is!
        You sound very harsh and un-real!! Maybe you don’t have kids; but, every parent deserves to have say over the medical treatment for their child.
        Hiram’s parents still has hope in him and so do I, Rose, and many others!!!

  7. cici says:

    TO Hirams Parents:

    May the Angels of Heaven send down a Miracle before Friday.
    Much love and Prayers for you both

  8. Quan is no leader. says:

    Quan should be recalled. How much bloodshed of our babies must we endure?!?!?
    She never had control over this city and should go. When will the killing stop!?!?!

    1. JustAs SickOfItAsyouAre says:

      Your rant is badly misplaced – the SHOOTER(S) pulled the trigger onthe gun(s) – not the mayor. The ‘control’ that is missing is self-control of the thugs. You want control – you can either raise up your own to be civil and not act as savage beasts – or you can live under a military dictatorship. Them’s the choices…..

      1. Thalassa Highbrou says:

        I believe that a good mayor would call troops to come to this city and use force to enter every home in Oakland to start confiscating un-registered weapons, and make arrests!

  9. josh says:

    There is NO words That I can say to Help you out at this time in your life. Comeing from a FATHER that lost my son THAT had the same name THAT cant Make that NAME go on threw the roots of his family. Only time heals they will always in my heart. This story touch me

  10. j. kathryn says:

    Prayers for the family. This is so tragic, but the baby is already dead if there is no brain activity. The doctors at the hospital love life and must deal with tragedy every day.

  11. cari e. says:

    Donate the child’s organs to save more lives. He will live on through them. I am so heartbroken for their loss. Praying for them.

  12. california says:

    love WHERE DID IT GO
    Innocence is lost children are hurt not even god can understand we are deeply saddened by the loss of dear baby hiram when will this killing stop children are to be loved TAKE CARE OF THE FAMILY OF THIS CHILD another soul for GOD to love

  13. Leroy Jankins says:



    1. Thalassa Highbrou says:

      Wow Leroy, please don’t say that. My daughter said the same thing today; her little heart is at rage. I told my daughter that God don’t control the wicked, he control the good. There are sooo many churches on Oakland’s street corners; and how many of them do you see trying to run the wicked away? Because, that is the children of God’s job. We are not supposed to be afraid of evil doers.
      People gotta start standing up and stop being afraid!

  14. ybaruti says:

    May God’s mercy and peace be with young Hiram and his family. One word to the cowards who committed this cowardly deed-how can you live with yourself! Man up and turn yourself in now.

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