Boy injured in shooting shows signs of improvement

December 1, 2011 12:39:07 AM PST
The parents of the toddler who was shot in the head Monday night during a shootout in Oakland, say their son is showing slight signs of improvement. Hiram Lawrence remains in critical condition.

Hiram was being held by his father, also named Hiram Lawrence, Monday night when several gunmen opened fire on a group of 20-30 people in an Oakland parking lot.

Hiram, 23 months old, was struck in the head. He has been in intensive care ever since. Two others were also critically wounded.

Wednesday, his parents asked the community to pray for their son.

"That's all I ask is just keep praying; God bless everybody that's praying for him, we appreciate all the support," Hiram's father, Hiram Lawrence, said.

Lawrence says the swelling around his son's brain has gone down.

"I just whispered in his ear words and stuff that he used to say to me, like 'dada' and 'juice' and stuff he used to say to me," Lawrence said.

"What am I to do now?" Hiram's mother Brittany Houston asked. "What's next? All because of, what? Somebody don't like somebody or something stupid?"

Hiram's father pleaded for no retaliation. Keeping the peace is also the goal of a vigil held Wednesday's evening at the site of the Monday night shooting that injured seven people.

"We're trying to restore our community, we're trying to stop the violence in our community and we're trying to save our community," Shan Hirsch said.

"It's a bad thing, but it takes events like this for people to realize that our community is hurting," Anthony McNeal said.

Oakland police have surveillance videos of the shooting that show multiple angles of the incident but they are still asking for the public's help.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $35,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for the shooting.

Oakland police are asking anyone with information about the case to call (510) 773-2805.

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