ONLY ON 13: Mother of 2-year-old shot playing toys outside expected to make recovery

Tuesday, March 12, 2024
2-year-old shot while playing outside to make full recovery, mom says
"He's innocent. He doesn't know what was going on," little Braylon Benoit's mother told only Eyewitness News a night before the hospital is set to discharge him.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The mother of a 2-year-old boy shot while playing outside in the Fourth Ward said her son is expected to make a full recovery.

Aisha Howard said she dropped her son off at her grandparent's home, and the next time she saw him, he was lying in a hospital bed.

On Friday at about 6:30 p.m., the Houston Police Department said several people saw four vehicles drive by the 1300 block of Gillette Street and cross over Ruthven Street when at least 40 shots were fired.

Two-year-old Braylon Benoit was playing with his dinosaur toys when he got caught in the crossfire and struck twice.

"I had literally just pulled in the driveway and got the call from my cousin that he just got shot," Howard said. "I was panicking, freaking out, and crying.

Officers said the boy was scooped up by his family after being shot twice and rushed to the hospital, where he's stabilized.

According to the boy's mother, he broke his arm. He also suffered liver damage but is expected to be OK and released from the hospital on Tuesday. Howard said she is preparing a dinosaur-themed welcome home party.

"He's up and playing," Howard said. "He actually ate for the first time (Monday), and he got up and walked (Sunday). The liver damage can cause problems, though. He has a long life to live."

Investigators aren't sure why the shooters opened fire. They said it could've been a shooting between two groups in different vehicles or possibly a drive-by shooting into a group of people.

Police believe there were at least two shooters because they found casings from two firearms - a rifle and a handgun.

According to Howard, her family and friends who were there knew the suspects and have shared their names and videos on social media showing the suspects bragging about the shooting to investigators.

Police have not charged anyone yet.

RELATED: 2-year-old in stable condition after being caught in barrage of gunfire in Houston's Fourth Ward

Authorities urge you to contact the Houston Police Department or Crime Stoppers of Houston directly if you have any information related to this investigation. Tipsters must contact Crime Stoppers directly to remain anonymous and to be considered for a cash payment by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477), submitting an online tip, or through the Crime Stoppers mobile app.