Mom of 4-year-old shot in head on Shoreway: 'The biggest blessing -- my son is OK'

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The mother of a 4-year-old boy shot in the head this past weekend thanked everyone in Cleveland who helped in her son's recovery and prayed for her family.

Cecelia Hill spoke to the media Friday evening, as her 4-year-old son, Marquis Wellington, Jr., recovered in his hospital room floors above.

Marquis was shot in the head late Sunday on the Shoreway near the 55th Street exit after what she described as a random chase that started, when she honked at a car in front of her that wasn't moving near the intersection of West 28th and Division.

The car chased Hill's vehicle, and police said someone shot 10 times or more into her car on the Shoreway, hitting Marquis in the head.

Bullet fragments went through Marquis' brain. He had one surgery to remove parts of his skull and bone fragments, and the front of his skull was reconstructed with the help of titanium plates. Doctors said Marquis is on antibiotics to treat any potential infections.

"I think it's miracle that the injury itself wasn't much worse," said Dr. Krystal Tomei, the chief of pediatric neurology at UH Rainbow Babies Children's Hospital. "He was incredibly lucky, unfortunately we don't always see that kids that undergo the same type of procedure have the same outcome."

Tomei went on to say that for the most part they don't expect his cognitive abilities will be impacted.

"The important cognitive areas and speech area and motor area were preserved -- I would expect he would have an overall good recovery from that standpoint," she said.

Tearfully thanking Tomei and her team, Hill said she received the best gift.

"I got the biggest blessing, my son is OK -- he's back to my little boy," said Hill. "That's the only thing that keeps me up every day is knowing that my son is actually stronger than me."

Hill went on to ask for privacy, saying that her family's emotional wounds will take a long time to heal. Hill wouldn't speak about the incident specifically, saying that one suspect was still at large.

Jonathon Smith, one of the suspects accused in the shooting, appeared for arraignment Friday morning.

According to police, Smith and 21-year-old Leon Edwards are responsible for the drive-by shooting that sent Marquis to the hospital with a gunshot wound to his head.

Edwards was recently arrested in Alabama.

Marquis remains hospitalized in stable condition following surgery.

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