“When I first saw him in ICU, I started crying,” Donald Sr. said. “I just put my head down in his bed and was holding his hand at the same time. And he opened his eyes. And when I raised back up I looked and there were tears rolling down his eyes and it gave me a little bit of spirit in my heart. It was joy, I guess he was kind of happy to know I was there. “
Local police arrested Brian Cloninger in connection with the shooting. He has been charged with injury to a child, and sits behind bars with a $2.2 million bond. There is no clear motive behind why Cloninger would have wanted to shoot the boy. The shooting is still being investigated.
Donald’s parents say their son has a plate in his jaw. While he cannot smile, the boy can wink and nod his head in code when he wants something. After the swelling from his latest surgery goes down, many more surgeries are expected to follow.
“Everything’s just too much,” Locklin said. “I just want him to get better and recover. And law enforcement can deal with everything else.”