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A Texas mother, whose young son was killed during a botched carjacking over the weekend, said she was cradling her child when the alleged thief mowed them down with her own car.
Zayden McLean was killed after a suspected carjacker drove over him twice while trying to steal his mother’s car in a Fort Worth hospital parking lot on Sunday, police said.
The child’s mother, Bailey Bingham, told law enforcement she had arranged to meet with the boy’s father, Shea McLean, for a custody exchange when the incident unfolded. As the couple met, Nico Lorenzo Dela-Fuente, the suspected carjacker, allegedly commandeered Bingham’s car.
Police said McLean intervened, jumped in the moving car, and attempted to stop Dela-Fuente as he attempted to pull out of the parking spot, the Dallas Morning News reported. However, the suspected carjacker ran over Bingham and her child while trying to flee the scene.
Zayden was “in [Bingham’s] arms as the vehicle was reversing,” Fort Worth Police Officer Gezim Pollozani told KDFW.
“It struck the parent and the child, causing both the parent and the child to fall,” Pollozani added.
After initially striking the mother and son while going backward, Dela-Fuente then allegedly threw the car and drive and drove over the 1-year-old a second time before careening into a tree.
“Obviously the parents thought it was a secure location for them to do the child custody and it’s very unfortunate that we had this incident occur in such a secure location at the hospital,” Pollozani also told NBC affiliate KXAS-TV.
Zayden was rushed to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth where he was later pronounced dead.
Bingham also suffered a fractured skull, and bleeding in her brain. She remains hospitalized.
“From what I’ve been told, we were hit twice, but I can’t remember it,” Bingham told Oxygen.com during a phone call from the hospital on Tuesday.
Bingham, 27, who acknowledged the incident is still blurry, said the carjacker struck as her ex was moving her son’s car seat from her car to his. One of the last things she remembers is locking eyes with the suspect moments before he hopped behind the wheel of her car.
“I was holding my son while Shae ... and I saw the guy walking towards our car,” she said. “I woke up on the ground and I remember seeing my son laying several feet from me and they were giving him CPR and I kind of went out after that.”
Bingham said her son would have turned 2 next month. The grieving Texas mother described her son as a “super high energy,” “happy,” and “goofy,” baby who loved to dance, play in the park, and watch his father shoot hoops.
“He was just one of those kids that would light everybody’s day up,” she added.
Zayden’s grandmother also described the active 1-year-old as an “angel on Earth.”
“And now he’s an angel in heaven,” Vickie Bingham told KDFW.
“It almost seems like Zayden was born, like he knew he didn’t have much time looking back. It’s almost like he was born knowing that he wasn’t going to have a long life,” she said. “There’s a song, ‘Live Like You’re Dying.’ And that’s what he did. He loved laughing. He played.”
Vickie Bingham added her family is in desperate need of “healing.”
“We just want prayers for our daughter and Zayden’s dad,” she said. “They saw a lot, and they need prayers. They need healing.”
Dela-Fuente has been charged with capital murder and aggravated robbery, according to online jail records. He’s being held on a $600,000 bond. Dela-Fuente has a lengthy criminal record, including multiple drunk driving arrests, according to online court records, KXAS-TV reported. The 30-year-old has previously been booked on carjacking charges, the outlet also reported.
“I just want him to go to jail for the rest of his life,” Bailey Bingham said. “I don’t feel like he’s the type of person who’s going to change and be safe around other people. It’s sad. I just don’t want it to happen to anybody else.”
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