A toddler was killed in his mother’s arms during a carjacking in Texas over the weekend. Zayden McLean, who would have turned 2 next month, died when a man attempting to steal his mother’s car ran into both of them before driving off.
Bailey Bingham, Zayden’s mother, was reportedly meeting his dad Shea McLean in the parking lot of the Texas Health Huguley Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, The Dallas Morning News reported, to exchange custody.
A man, later identified as alleged suspect Nico Lorenzo Dela-Fuente, interrupted the family and tried to steal Bingham’s vehicle, police told the outlet. McLean got into the car in an attempt to stop the car from being stolen and the pair struggled while the car was in reverse.
Fort Worth Police Officer Gezim Pollozani told Fox 4 News that Bingham was holding Zayden “in her arms as the vehicle was reversing and it struck the parent and the child, causing both the parent and the child to fall.”
“The suspect then put the vehicle in drive and ran over the child and crashed into a tree,” Pollozani said.
Zayden was rushed to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, where he died of his injuries. His mother, who was also hospitalized, suffered skull fractures, bleeding on the brain, and road rash, but is expected to recover.
A GoFundMe campaign was created to help with funeral expenses and hospital bills. As of Monday evening, the campaign had raised $15,585 of a $50,000 goal.
“Anyone who knew Zayden knew how much he was loved by his mother, Bailey Bingham, and father, Shea McLean,” the GoFundMe’s description states.
“He was a child of love and spirit. Everyone who knew him loved him, and that love will continue to carry.”
Vickie Bingham, Zayden’s grandmother, told Fox 4 News that the toddler was “an angel on Earth, and now he’s an angel in heaven.”
“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.”
“We just want prayers for our daughter and Zayden’s dad,” she added. “They saw a lot, and they need prayers. They need healing.”