Three-year-old boy is shot dead and his pregnant mother injured after her boyfriend, 29, broke into Texas home with 'an assault style rifle' before being killed by cops
A three-year-old boy was shot dead and his pregnant mother injured after her boyfriend broke into the Texas home they had fled to with'an assault style rifle'.
Little Elijah Valencia-Garcia was killed in Houston last Friday at around 7pm afterAriel Lujan, 29, opened fire. Lujan was then killed by police after they say he pointed his gun at officers.
The boy's pregnant mom,Veronica Valencia, was also hit in her leg and hand but is expected to survive.Her baby's condition is unknown.
She is said to have fled to her ex andElijah's father's home where she thought she would be safe from Lujan after the two argued.
But he is said to have followed the mother and son armed withan assault-type rifle and multiple magazines.
The boy's father, Richard Garcia, told Click2Houston: 'He was a really happy kid, for sure he made everybody that got to meet him (smile).
'He would always put a smile on people’s faces and he liked to greet people. He met strangers he would just say ‘Hi’ to everybody.'
He added: 'He really didn’t deserve what happened to him. I got to have him for three years, that was a blessing. The best three years of my life.'
Police saidLujan pointed his rifle at them after holdingGarcia at gunpoint.They then opened fire, killing Lujan.
Houston police chief Art Acevedo said footage from the shooting will be released after the investigation is complete.
Acevedo called the shooting a 'senseless act', adding: 'What we found here was a female victim who had been shot by a suspect believed to be her current boyfriend.
'They had been involved in some kind of verbal altercation that’s still under investigation.As a father, I think all of us here have children and young people we love, it’s heart-wrenching when you think about a little child’s life has ended here.'
He added: 'This city, like a lot of other cities, is seeing a tremendous uptick in gun violence… and a big part of it is Covid-19. Another part of it is we're just not holding people accountable.'
Paying tributeElijah's uncle Edwin Garcia told KHOU: 'He was always smiling; he was always happy. He was very energetic; he was always doing something.'
A GoFundMe has been set up by loved ones to raise money forElijah's funeral.