Hiram Lawrence, toddler shot in Oakland, dies

December 9, 2011 7:06:21 PM PST
A 23-month-old toddler who was hit in the head by a bullet during a shooting rampage in Oakland has died from his injuries.

Hiram Lawrence, Jr. was taken off life support just after 2 p.m. Friday. A battery of tests had concluded that there was no brain activity.

At 3:05 p.m., Lawrence was pronounced dead.

Lawrence's mother Brittany Houston said she refuses to cry because her baby was a fighter.

"He fought for 11 days," Houston said.

Fighting back tears, Houston begged for an end to the violence that claimed the life of her son.

"This shooting -- it needs to end," Houston said. "I shouldn't have to lose my baby to a gunshot."

Houston displayed a blue footprint on her arm. "That's my baby's footprint," she said. "This is how I got to remember my baby 'cause somebody wanted to start shooting."

Lawrence was shot in the head and six other people were wounded on Nov. 28 when three hooded assailants opened fire on a group filming a rap music video at 7th and Willow Streets. At least two people in the group returned fire.

Police have feared that the shooting could provoke a gang war.

"The family has asked that there be no retaliation," said family spokesperson and pastor Raymond Lankford, "that we reached out and provide love and support to the community."

Police have detained six people on unrelated charges but have made no arrests in connection with the shooting. Investigators believe the shootout may have been the result of a gang feud.

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