Oakland toddler shot during rap video filming dies

AP Photo/Paul SakumaKiana Matthews

A 1-year-old boy who was shot in the head during the filming of a rap music video in Oakland was taken off life support Friday.

Hiram Lawrence, who would have turned 2 on Dec. 28, was pronounced dead at 3:05 p.m. Friday, the Rev. Roosevelt Taylor said.

Hiram's family had held out hope that he would show some brain activity, but doctors at Children's Hospital Oakland concluded after multiple tests that he was brain dead from the injuries he suffered in the Nov. 28 shooting.

The family's attorney, Ivan Golde, said they decided not to oppose the doctors after bringing in a private pediatrician who agreed with the findings. Dozens of relatives and family friends went to the hospital Friday to say their goodbyes and support Hiram's parents as doctors conducted one last test.

Later, outside the hospital, the boy's mother, Brittany Houston, called for an end to the city's violence.

“The shootings need to end,” she said while surrounded by family and clergy. “I shouldn't have to lose my baby to a gunshot.”

Hiram was being held by his father when gunfire erupted as about 20 people gathered outside a west Oakland liquor store, police said. Six other people, including Hiram's father, were wounded.

Police detained six possible suspects on unrelated charges but no arrests have been made.

Investigators have said it appeared one group of people fired on another group, and the second group fired back.

Witnesses initially said Oakland rapper Kafani was the one making a video when the shooting occurred. But Kafani has said that while his promotional van was in the vicinity, he himself was not there. Police said shortly after the shooting that investigators didn't think Kafani had any significance in the case.

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