BRADENTON, Fla. -- A year ago this month, tragedy struck for one family in Bradenton, when a 4-year-old boy was shot in the head by a stray bullet. Deputies have yet to make an arrest in the case, and the boy's mother is frustrated.
Frustrated, painful, difficult…all words to describe the last year for Diana Lopez and her now 5-year-old son, Davien.
On July 27th, 2013, bullets flew into a window at a house on 26th Street West in Bradenton. Inside, 4-year-old Davien Martinez was napping in his mother's arms and was struck in the head.
Miraculously, Davien survived. He spent weeks in the hospital, suffering from brain injuries and blindness in his right eye.
A year later, Davien's eyes are glued to a game on his mom's cell phone. But the effects of that traumatic day seem like it just happened yesterday. “He still has nightmares. He has night sweats every night and wakes up crying. It's hard for him to sleep because he's scared.”
Lopez calls the last year the most difficult of her life.
An arrest has still not been made. “It has been very frustrating. I feel like there's more that could have been done. Maybe another set of eyes than who was on the case initially might help.”
Over at the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, the case remains open...but inactive. “We've got a pretty good idea of what transpired. However, like in many cases, we don't have the evidence to put someone in jail,” says spokesman Dave Bristow.
That remains the department's goal, says Bristow, no matter how long it takes. “We want to see justice. The family, they want it too. But the detectives want to just as much. That's their job, to put people in jail, especially when you have a victim that's a young boy like this.”
A young boy who cherishes life. “Thank you everybody for thinking of me when I got my ow-ee.”
Lopez is in the process of trying to find a psychiatric service dog for Davien. The problem she's running into is the price, and the fact that a lot of service dog agencies will not place their animals with anyone under 10-years-old.