Community Outraged After Police Shoot 3 Children in the Head
The names of two officers involved in the shooting of three children in Hugo, OK have been released over a week after the tragic incident took place.
Hugo Police Department detectives Billy Jenkins and Chad Allen have been identified as the officers who opened fire on a vehicle driven by William Devaughn Smith, 21, whom they suspected of robbing a pizza shop. The bullets struck three of the four children sitting in the back seat.
“My 4-year-old daughter was shot in the head, and she has a bullet in her brain, and my 5-year-old has a skull fracture,” mom Olivia Hill told KFOR. “My 1-year-old baby has gunshot wounds on her face. My 2-year-old wasn’t touched with any bullets.”
Police claim they began shooting because Smith was attempting to run them over with his truck, but many dispute this argument, saying officers simply could have moved out of the way rather than opening fire, especially into a vehicle containing children. It should also be noted that officers were in plain clothes that day, meaning Smith very well may not have known the two men approaching him with guns were police.
“If you don’t know if someone is law enforcement or not, it changes things,” said family attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons according to TFTP. “I don’t know what happened, but that’s concerning to me.”
The three children who were shot have reportedly all been released from the hospital, yet will continue to deal with “a lot of physical and emotional pain,” Simmons said.
“They are terrified to go anywhere or hear anything,” he said. “The two-year-old keeps asking about ‘Am I going to get shot again.’ It’s a bad deal. The child who had a bullet in the brain, there’s some question now that she may have a permanent injury. She might be looking at a lifetime injury.”