Drive-by shooting suspect's bond set at $500K as 11-year-old victim suffers spinal cord fracture

SPRING, Texas (KTRK) -- An 11-year-old boy who authorities say was shot in the neck through the front window of his home suffered a spinal cord fracture, but his mother says they don't know yet if he'll be paralyzed.

Mekhi Benson continues treatment at the hospital after the shooting over the weekend in the 5000 block of Roth Forest Lane in the Spring area.

His mother, Jasmine Winters, told Eyewitness News that she was having a movie night with her children in her room.

Mehki, Winters, and his younger sister, who is diagnosed with autism, were lying in bed together. Mehki's older brother Jahlil, 14, went downstairs.

All of a sudden, Winters said she thought she heard fireworks. It turns out it was gunfire. She said Mehki told her he was in pain, and she saw blood on the upper part of his body. Then she looked down and saw she, too, was bleeding.

"I heard the gunshots, and then I heard glass shatter, and then my mama was like, 'Mehki got shot! I got shot!' So I just ran upstairs to make sure they were OK," Jahlil recalled.

Both Winters and Mehki were taken to the hospital in ambulances. From there, the 11-year-old was taken by Life Flight to the Texas Medical Center.

Winters stayed in the hospital for only a couple of hours before checking herself out. She wanted to be with her son.

"I knew that I was hit as well, but my injuries didn't compare to my son's," Winters said.

Since being in the hospital, doctors determined that Mehki was shot through his neck and the bullet hit his spinal cord. Winters said her son is not able to move his lower body. Doctors believe there is a chance he could end up paralyzed from the waist down.

SEE ORIGINAL REPORT: 11-year-old targeted in Spring-area drive-by shooting might be paralyzed, officials say

"All he wants to do is come home," Winters said. "He just wants to come home, and he can't. To have to explain to someone who was just excited to go to football conditioning that they might not be able to walk again is something that no parent should have to go through. And especially for the reason we are going through it."

Keandre Jackson, 19, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

According to authorities, Jackson and his juvenile cousin, who is only in middle school, had been making threats to the 11-year-old about shooting up his house because of an argument between the two young students over a girl.

Deputies said before the shooting on Saturday night, an argument ensued between teenagers at a separate residence involving the 11-year-old, but the situation was temporarily calmed by a parent.

Jackson is accused of driving his cousin to the 11-year-old's home on Roth Forest and shooting four times into his upstairs bedroom window.

Not only are Jackson and his cousin accused of the drive-by shooting, court records state the two went back home, where they were having a sleepover and bragged about what they had done.

Winters disputes those claims. She said Mehki was at home with their family all night. She said he was targeted because he was bullied over who he was friends with.

Jahlil said the surveillance video he saw shows Jackson parking near their home, running to the corner of their neighborhood street, and firing four times at the front window. He said the gun jammed when he tried to shoot a fifth time.

"I pray that he feels that it was the worst decision of his life," Winters said of Jackson. "I pray that he has remorse. But at this moment, I just want him to be prosecuted to the fullest."

Jackson was arrested and charged on Sunday. His bond was set at $500,000.

At this point, Winters said doctors have not given any indication of when Mehki will be discharged from the hospital. A GoFundMe was created to help the family with the long road to recovery they have ahead.

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