10-year-old boy shot multiple times after fight breaks out in apartment playground, family says

The boy's grandmother shared her pain with ABC13 as the child recovers in the hospital from his injuries.

Thursday, March 28, 2024
10-year-old boy recovering after being shot during fight, family says
A 10-year-old boy was shot when a fight between 20 to 30 people broke out in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Tidwell Road, deputies said.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Investigators are looking for video evidence in a northeast Harris County shooting that sent a 10-year-old boy to the hospital.

CJ Junior, as he is known to his family and friends, is stable but has suffered multiple injuries.

"They had to check his heart, his liver, his lung, his spleen, and all that," Francine Holiday, CJ's grandmother, said. "They had to remove one of his colons. They had to repair his lung. They had to repair his liver, and he had a hole in his intestine. They had to repair that also."

Holiday says on Wednesday night, CJ and his three older sisters had gone to the apartment complex playground to play with a large group of kids.

Shortly before 8 p.m., an argument started and escalated into a physical fight. That's when someone took out a pistol, according to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. Investigators said it's unclear what the fight was about.

"He actually got shot at the playground. He didn't know he was shot," Holiday said. "He was trying to find his sisters, and that's when he collapsed on the ground when they were asking for help."

Holiday and CJ's mom, who live in the same complex but in different units, called for help and waited with the little boy. Both say all the other children who were on the scene had scattered. They say CJ was initially helped by two apartment residents who heard his cries for help.

Now, investigators are working to figure out what exactly led up to shots being fired and who pulled the trigger.

"Again, there were a lot of people out here. We have a 10-year-old that is battling for his life. If you know something, give us a call. You can call us anonymously," Gonzalez said. "This is inexcusable. We can't have our children getting gunned down for any reason."

The sheriff said he's confident that among the 20 to 30 people gathered, someone had to have a cell phone out and captured photos or video. If that's you, you could help solve the case.

This isn't the first shooting involving a child at that same apartment complex.

RELATED STORY: 11-year-old shot to death in NE Harris Co. after going outside to get jacket from car, sheriff says

"Someone to be out here shooting multiple shots at an apartment complex, very dangerous," authorities said.

Darius Dugas Jr., 11, was shot and killed a little more than two years ago. Police said he was getting a jacket out of a car when he was killed.

A 19-year-old was charged with his murder. His trial is set to begin in June.

Darius' family sued the apartment complex, saying it didn't do enough to protect the people who live there.

Holiday pointed out that her daughter and grandchildren coincidentally moved into the same unit that Dugas once lived in with his family.

"I still don't understand why they don't fix these gates to keep us safe or why we don't have security," Holiday said with tears welling up in her eyes.

CJ's mother has been at Memorial Hermann since the shooting.

Harris County sheriff investigators told ABC13 that surveillance video of the incident was recovered, but they won't be able to release it right away.

If you have any information on who the shooters may be, you are urged to contact the Harris County Sheriff's Office.