8-Year-Old African American, Shot By White Neighbor, Beginning To Recover

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Donald Maiden Jr., known to family and friends as D.J., was playing tag outside of his home in Dallas. That’s when 46-year-old Brian Cloninger, shot the youth in the face. Cloninger told police that he shot the boy simply because “he wanted to.”

Donald has spent several weeks in the hospital hooked up to life support machines and breathing tubes. He had a metal plate and wire mesh holding his jaw together.

But now, months later D.J.’s mother, Monique Locklin says he is doing “much better.”

Donald still has a tracheotomy tube in his neck to help with breathing. He has continued reconstructive surgery scheduled for March 10th. But considering what he’s been through, his recovery is remarkable.

“He goes to school, he still plays outside,” his mother said. “Light playing, but he still does everything pretty normally like he would before. As his face enhances he’ll have to keep on getting it fixed.”

But beyond the physical scares, Donald has been severely psychologically impacted by the hate crime.

“He’s afraid,” D.J.’s mother explained, that once Cloninger gets out of jail he will come after him and will hurt him or “hurt somebody else.

“He has nightmares almost every night. He won’t sleep alone, and he wakes up almost every night crying because he has nightmares.”

As for Cloninger, D.J.’s mother explained, “I just want to see him get punished to the maximum, and I just want justice for what he did, because it really was unnecessary and just cruel. I don’t want him to be able to be free so he could do that to someone else.”

h/t – politicalblindspot

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