Father shot in neck protecting 3-year-old daughter

SPRING, Texas (KTRK) -- A 27-year-old father who shielded his 3-year-old daughter during a random drive-by shooting early Saturday morning remains in critical condition. His family says one lung is collapsed and his spinal cord was nicked by a bullet.

Darius Shyne, his girlfriend, Erika, and their daughter had been at a child's birthday party earlier in the evening. Erika wanted to make a stop on their way home to Spring to see her brother. He was performing in a rap battle at a club in northeast Houston.

Erika said she saw her brother and other family members at the event and left a few minutes later.

"Darius was waiting in the car for me, but I couldn't see him when I walked out," she said. "Then I saw a dark blue or a dark black car and someone rolled down their window and I heard gunshots. I hit the ground."

The next thing she did was call Darius.

"He said, 'Baby, can you come get me? I can't move my leg and can't move my arm. I think I've been shot,'" she said.

She saw his car near the parking lot. Her daughter was unharmed, still in her child seat behind her father because he put himself in the line of fire to protect her.

"He moved to shield her because he took two bullets to both sides of his arm and one to the side of his chest," she said.

His family spent the night, day and Sunday evening at Ben Taub Hospital, where Shyne remains in the ICU.

Shyne works at a warehouse to support his family and has an outgoing personality, said his mother and step-father. There is no indication he was targeted by the shooter, but rather in the wrong place at the wrong time, they believe.

Gun violence is to blame, said Chris Smith, Shyne's step-dad.

"It's not just Darius in this hospital, but other people on the same floor, here because they were shot," he said. " Unfortunately it's all too common."

Erika said their daughter gave a statement to police.

"She saw the car and said, 'The people in the dark car shot my daddy.' She went from being 3 to 33 in that moment," Erika said.

She is certain someone knows who was involved in the shooting and urged them to turn over information to police. Unless that happens, "justice will not be served and these things will continue to happen if we don't nip it in the bud. And the issue is not coming forward in the first place," she said.

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