Mother of 4-year-old Cleveland boy shot in the head speaks about recovery, healing

Cecilia Hill: "I lost my faith that night"

CLEVELAND, Ohio -

The mother of the 4-year-old Cleveland boy shot in the head during an apparent road rage shooting spoke about her son's recovery Friday afternoon.

The shooting happened just before midnight Sunday near Dead Man’s Curve on I-90.

Cecilia Hill was driving with her seven-year-old daughter and four-year-old Marquis Wellington, Jr. when shots were fired into the car, a bullet hitting Marquis in the head.

The incident reportedly started a few minutes earlier at West 28th Street and Denison when Hill told police she had honked at a white Pontiac that was stopped in front of her. Investigators say the car followed Hill onto I-90 and opened fire. Two suspects are currently in custody.

“I lost my faith that night,” Hill said through tears. “Because being a mother, I was not able to protect my kids. I had to put my child in God’s hands and that was the worst thing. Besides being shot at.”

Hill said she had never seen the men who shot at her car before that night. She thanked doctors and nurses at University Hospital, along with Cleveland Police. She also thanked the public.

“Anybody that prayed for us and that had faith, I thank you all so much. So, so much. But please, let me and my babies heal,” Hill said.

Marquis had surgery early Monday morning to remove the bullet and fragments from his brain and skull. Part of his skull was reconstructed using titanium.

Doctors say because of the way the bullet hit his skull and the part of the brain it was near, he will likely make a full recovery. His age also helps, because his brain has more elasticity.

One of Marquis’ neurosurgeons, Dr. Krystal Tomei, also spoke about the boy’s remarkable recovery.

“He was incredibly lucky,” Dr. Tomei said. “He’s doing great, all things considered. He is very much a 4-year-old. The other day, I walked into the room and he was flying his Spiderman doll around the room.”

Dr. Tomei said Marquis will likely be released soon. No more surgeries are expected, but they will continue to monitor him for any possible long-term effects.

Jonathan Smith, 20, was arrested on an attempted murder warrant Wednesday. Leon Edwards, 21, was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Goodwater, Alabama early Thursday.  

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