8-Year-Old Boy Shot in the Head by Thug While Looking at Christmas Lights with Family

An 8-year-old child is in critical condition after being shot in the head by a violent thug in Oklahoma.

The young boy, Zachariah Bannister, suffered the serious gunshot wound while stopping to look at Christmas lights with his family.

The family was delivering food for DoorDash.

They had taken a moment to enjoy Christmas lights when they were ambushed in a seemingly unprovoked attack.

The shooting occurred on the night of December 10, according to News 9.

The Bannister family was driving through a southwest Lawton neighborhood in Oklahoma.

As they drove through the neighborhood, they occasionally stopped so Zachariah and his brother Waylon could admire the Christmas lights on people’s homes.

However, during one stop to take in the lights, the moments of joy and holiday spirit suddenly turned into a harrowing ordeal.

According to Zachariah’s Aunt Elias Conez, the mother noticed something amiss as the family vehicle reversed to get a better view of the decorations.

They then attempted to leave the area.

An armed thug then appeared and fired an estimated 15 to 30 rounds at the car.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Zach’s mother, Nichole, to assist with the mounting medical bills.

Nichole Bannister details the incident on the GoFundMe page:

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“Zack and his brother Waylon, their grandmother, and I were in a neighborhood last night looking at Christmas lights. I was backing up to a house to show my kids the Christmas decorations, when someone started shooting at my car. I drove away as fast as I could. My kids said they were okay, but Waylon then informed me that Zack was bleeding and he didn’t know from where so I drove as fast as I could to the hospital while my oldest kept his little brother awake all the way to the hospital and they said that was the best thing he could have done. My 8 year old was shot in the head because we were looking at Christmas lights and now he is in ICU.

“… Zack not to long ago decided he wasn’t going to wait until tomorrow for the Dr’s and Nurses to do it, he was going to do it himself. He pulled out his intubation tube when nobody was in the room. I walked back in to find so many people running in and out of his room about gave me a heart attack. He is okay though, they said they are leaving it out for now, but they will me monitoring him just incase they have to put it back in. His famous first words after removing it was “I have to pee”. He got so aggregated he couldn’t talk he pulled that thing out himself. I am so happy, proud, and amazed by how far he has come in the past few days. I am so proud of my baby boy.

“He has a blood clot by the skull fracture, they put him on blood thinners, and hopefully the medication breaks up the blood clot, or they may have to go remove it. I am praying the blood thinners work.

“A physical therapist came by yesterday. He has lost most of his strength. He can’t sit up without help, he also has to have help staying sitting up once he is sat up. He barley has any strength left in his little legs. He tries to feed himself, but he gets tired really quick. He will be starting physical therapy on Monday. They will be working with him 6 days a week.

“They still have him in ICU even though he is not on any type of oxygen, or sedation. He has to be in the ICU until the blood clot is taken care of.

“He is talking, but it takes him extra time to process what is being said to him, and it takes him extra time to process his answers. He gets upset that he can’t do things himself that he used to be able to do all the time. He gets upset when he wants to tell me something, but can’t think of how to say it. He also gets upset when he has to ask for help, because he used to be able to do something on his own and now he can’t.

“They said he will get angry and frustrated easily and more often than normal. They said that it is normal with head trauma patients.”

Police have arrested the suspected gunman who was identified as Jullian Phillips.

Phillips was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, a spokesperson for the Lawton Police Department confirmed.

The suspect has no previous connection to the victims.

Hollywood star James Woods commented on the incident in a post on X, calling the shooting a “pure hate crime.”

READ MORE: Thug Tries to Rob Gun Store with a Hammer, Gets Fatally Schooled by Armed Owner

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