MILWAUKEE - A 7-year-old child shot while sleeping in a car in Milwaukee needed most of his left leg amputated. After several surgeries, Kamirion Smith's mom says he's shown strength and courage in the face of tragedy.
"My son, he didn't deserve it. He's a strong one," Delilah Tate, Smith's mother, told WITI.
Cellphone video captured a milestone mother Smith's mother wasn't sure she'd ever witness.
"Seeing him in the beginning and seeing him now is a traumatic change," said Tate.
Smith was shot on May 16. He had eight surgeries and remained in the hospital Thursday.
"We were going home. An altercation broke off, and there goes the gunfire," Tate said.
Prosecutors said Simone Downer opened fire on the vehicle Smith was sleeping in after an argument with the driver.
A witness said Downer "emptied his clip" into the vehicle Smith was sleeping in following a barbecue celebrating a man who had recently been released from prison. Prosecutors said Downer was upset with the man, telling him, "You went to court on my nephew."
"Why shoot at a car? Why even do this? Whatever your reason was, you should have left it alone," said Tate.
They stray bullet hit an artery in Smith's left leg, which had to be partially amputated.
"He had his days where he just woke up and said, 'Mom, I don't deserve this.' And I'm like, 'Baby, you're right. You didn't'," said Tate.
Smith's strength has inspired.
"Seeing my son like that, it tore me apart. It destroyed it in every which way," Tate said. "Every day I tell everybody he is a living testimony, because he should have never made it, but by the grace of God, it did."
It wasn't immediately clear when Smith would be able to go home from the hospital.
Downer, the man accused of shooting him, was set to appear in court on June 6 for a preliminary hearing. He faces one count of first degree reckless injury, use of a dangerous weapon, two counts of first degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon and one count of possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony.