Toddler In West Oakland Shooting Taken Off Life Support, Dies

OAKLAND (CBS / AP) — A 1-year-old boy who was shot in the head during the filming of a rap music video in Oakland was taken off life support Friday.

Hiram Lawrence, who would have turned 2 on Dec. 28, was pronounced dead at 3:05 p.m., the Rev. Roosevelt Taylor said.

The boy’s family had held out hope that he would show some brain activity, but doctors at Children’s Hospital Oakland concluded after multiple tests that he was brain dead from the injuries he suffered in the shooting last month.

Outside the hospital, the boy’s mother, Brittany Houston called for an end to the city’s violence.

“The shootings need to end. I shouldn’t have to lose my baby to a gunshot,” Houston said Friday while surrounded by Hiram’s father, family and clergy members.

Houston showed off a tiny ink footprint of her son on her right forearm as a tribute.

“This is how I’m going to have to remember my baby because somebody wanted to start shooting,”Houstonsaid. “I’ve got to be strong for my baby. He fought for 11 days.”

The family’s attorney, Ivan Golde, said they decided not to oppose the doctors in ending life support after bringing in a private pediatrician who agreed with the findings. Dozens of relatives and family friends flooded the hospital Friday to say their goodbyes and support Hiram’s parents as doctors conducted one final test, which was consistent with the others.

Hiram was being held by his father, also named Hiram Lawrence, when gunfire erupted as about 20 people gathered outside a west Oakland liquor store Nov. 28, police said. Six other people were wounded, including Hiram’s father, who was shot in the hand.

“He doesn’t deserve this,” the father said in his last public comments Wednesday. “I was running around with the wrong people. It’s not my fault. It’s not my son’s fault.”

Police detained at least five possible suspects on unrelated charges but no arrests have been made.

Investigators have said the shooting occurred after one group of people fired on another group, and the second group fired back. A surveillance camera at State Market Liquors captured parts of the shooting, including three people wearing hooded sweatshirts firing from around the corner from the store.

Witnesses initially said Oakland rapper Kafani was the one making a video when the shooting occurred. But Kafani has said that while his promotional van was in the vicinity, he was not there.

Police said shortly after the shooting that investigators didn’t think Kafani had any significance in the case.

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

  • Tours Martel

    God bless and receive this innocent child! And his curse upon those who did this heinous act.

  • tn

    Prayers to the boy’s family and friends. I still can’t believe or understand how the father admitted he hung around with the wrong crowd yet didn’t feel it was his fault? As a parent, if I took chances to put myself and my children in harm’s way, it is my fault because my children aren’t old enough to decide who to hang around with. I still feel bad for the families and someone has to be accountable, otherwise we’re all animals. I thought that was what responsible parenting is all about? Just saying. Hopefully someone will finally come forward and speak up so that the police can bring the shooters to justice.

  • Oakland Taxpayer

    Seeing the picture of this little fellow, realizing he’s been murdered, your heart goes out, why? Is this what Oakland is all about? This little kid should now become Oakland’s icon, a beacon, for change. The little guy will miss a life of experiences because this city allows thugs and gangs to rule. Where’s our city leaders? Clueless leaders. Instead of Oakland being known for it’s sites and landmarks, Chabot Space and Science, Oakland’s Museum and Zoo, and Jack London Square… we’re better known as the home of gangs and thugs…and maybe not a safe place for kids too?

  • Slayer

    My heart goes out to all that loved this little boy. As stated above a life of experience robbed from him. Who knows what he would have become? Its time for the hammer to come down. Bring in the military and round up this trash that kill people everyday in Oakland and many other cities. Put them in the most horrible camp in the middle of know where and show no mercy. Its time to get hard with these worthless thugs. they are useless to a civilized and productive society. Throw them away like the trash that they are.

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