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'He's a miracle': 3-month-old recovering after he was shot in Lakewood apartment

A three-month-old grazed with a stray bullet in the head and arm last week is back home recovering.

LAKEWOOD, Wash. — It’s been nearly a week to the day that a three-month-old baby was hurt during a shooting at a Lakewood apartment building.

The child was grazed with a stray bullet in the head and arm after a neighbor fired 23 rifle shots into the apartment.

“I call him my little man of steel because he reminds me of Superman," said Anna Chase, the baby's mother. "He's kind of bulletproof."

Chase holds her son Leo extra close as he recovers.

“They told me he's a miracle," Chase said. "He should not be alive. He should not be here." 

Last Friday evening, Chase was walking back from a nearby convenience store. Her two small children Leah and Leo were with a babysitter when bullets went through her apartment.

“This is probably the worst thing I've ever experienced. I still can't eat, I still can't sleep," Chase said. "I can't comprehend even how something like this could happen."

The apartment is now uninhabitable and the family is staying in a hotel. The family has set up a fundraiser to help cover medical and food costs while they get back on their feet.

Earnest Hamilton is charged with the shooting and pleaded not guilty Monday in court. 

According to court documents, police said he made suicidal comments and seemed paranoid. He told officers he believed neighbors were doing surveillance on him. Investigators found a rifle and magazines in his apartment which he is not supposed to have as a convicted felon.

“I just can't imagine how someone could wake up one day and decide to shoot someone's apartment when they very much know there are children in there,” Chase said.

“My daughter won't barely eat, she screams during the night. My son gets startled by any loud noise and you can see the fear in his face and it sickens me. It literally sickens me,” said Chase. 

Leo was in his swing when he was hit and a bullet fragment is still in his head and may have to stay there.

The three-month-old has a long road ahead of him. He’ll have to see a neurosurgeon for three years and possibly have to have speech and physical therapy.

“They told me he may not be able to do things normal kids can do. He has to be extra careful with head injuries. If he would be hit in the head or a ball hit him in the head it could very well kill him. I just want this to be over and I just want him to be ok and I know he is ok but there's still so much at play and we won't know anything until he's older,” Chase said.


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