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8-Year-Old Dallas Boy Shot In The Face

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Police in Dallas are investigating a shooting that injured an 8-year-old boy. The violent incident happened around 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night at the La Bella Palms apartment complex, located in the 9400 block of Royal Lane, near Abrams.

The child -- identified by family members as Donald Maiden Jr. -- was shot in the face around his jaw and taken to Children's Medical Center in Dallas. CBS 11 News has learned that he is now out of surgery and in critical but stable condition. He is expected to survive his injuries.

Witnesses pointed authorities to a pickup truck that was parked nearby. Officers arrested 46-year-old Brian Cloninger in connection to the shooting. He has been charged with injury to a child, and sits behind bars with a $2.2 million bond.

Brian Cloninger
Brian Cloninger (credit: Dallas Police Department)

Maiden's grandmother said that the boy was outside playing with other children when he ran inside to get some toys. The child was shot as he went back outside. "He hit the ground when the guy shot him," said grandmother Sharon Locklin. "Then, he got up and ran to the house and asked his mom for water, and his mom saw all the blood coming out."

Residents said that they do not know what may have led to such unexpected violence. "I'm coming to pick up my son from work and I come back to this. What is going on? They say a kid mouth was shot off," said startled neighbor Mae Anderson. "I'm like, who would do this? What bad stuff could he have done for someone to do that to him."

Officials are interviewing witnesses to try and determine a possible motive for the shooting. Maiden's family members said that the suspect had pointed a gun at the apartment complex maintenance man earlier on Tuesday.

Maiden is a third-grade student at Merriman Park Elementary School. Family members said that the celebrated his birthday on Sunday.

Detectives had previously reported that another child was arrested for this incident, but that no longer appears to be the case.

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