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.
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