Dallas police said that Donald Maiden Jr., who had just celebrated his 8th birthday on Sunday, was playing tag outside his apartment complex on Tuesday. According to his grandmother, Maiden ran inside to get some toys and was shot as came back outside.Donald had just turned 8 years old and was playing with birthday presents.
The shooter was seen waving a handgun around earlier, which, of course, is legal.
His mother recalled the horrific incident:
“When he ran in I just screamed,” she said. “His mouth was just hanging off and it was just a big hole… I just threw him on the couch and laid him in my arms and put pressure on his mouth with the towel.”He is alive and in stable condition following surgeries to stablized his injuries: he requires a breathing tube but is alert and can wink and nod. A plate has been implanted in his jaw.
The freak that shot him was found standing by his truck and was apparently nonchalant about the incident:
Gregory Taplin said he noticed Cloninger standing in the apartment complex parking lot several hours before the shooting. Taplin knew he wasn't a resident, so he went up to talk to him.He is in jail (amazingly) on a $2+ million-dollar bond.
"'Do you stay here?' 'Da da da da' -- that's all he was saying," Taplin said. "He was gone, man. He was spaced out. He's up there, like," Taplin said, blinking his eyes repeatedly. "I said, 'What's wrong with this man?'"
Hours later, Taplin heard the gunshots and went outside. Scared residents pointed at Clonginer as he was standing near his truck. Tapline went up to him.
"Did you shoot that boy? He said, 'Yeah, I shot him.' I said, 'Why?'" Taplin said.
The family, of course, is crushed
“When I first saw him in ICU I started crying,” Donald Maiden, Sr. said of his son. DJ’s father was working in Louisiana. The boy was in a medically-induced coma when Dad first saw him. “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. “As of the time of this posting I could not find any updates to the stroy that would indicate any reason this man shot this child.
Cloninger has a mugshot online from January 2012 for DUI.
INJURY CHILD/ELDERLY/DISABLE W/INT SBI/MENTAL 2,282,000.00 F1359896 F1359896 Turley, Hal N