Hero Boy, 8, Killed While Shielding Mom from Bullet Allegedly Fired by Dad Days After Release from Jail

Amir Harden, 8, died after his father allegedly attempted to shoot his mother and turned the gun on himself

<p>Gofundme</p> Amir Harden


Amir Harden

A Minnesota boy was fatally shot when he tried to shield his mother during a shooting allegedly perpetrated by his father, who had been released from jail days earlier after being charged with domestic assault.

Amir Harden, 8, died on Sunday at a hospital in Hennepin County, Minn., after suffering gunshot wounds to his head and neck during the shooting last week, the Star Tribune reports, citing the county medical examiner’s office.

A little before midnight on Wednesday, Amir was fatally shot during a domestic incident in his Burnsville, Minn., home, ABC 5 reports, citing police.

Four other young children were present at the scene during the shooting, per police, the outlet reports.

KTSP, citing police, reports that Amir was not the intended target and that the shooting took place during a domestic incident.

Amir's mother, who identified herself as Cherish Edwards, alleged on a GoFundMe page that the boy “tried wrestling the gun out of" the suspect's hand, and that Amir was shot accidentally while the suspect tried to shoot and kill her. (The fundraiser was created to help with moving expenses and therapy for Edwards' other children.)

When Edwards screamed for Amir to leave, the child was adamant about protecting her, Edwards wrote.

“He refused & said ‘Mommy, I'm not leaving you here,’" she wrote.

The suspect, identified by the Star Tribune and Fox 9 as 30-year-old Danair Harden, remains in the hospital in critical condition, CBS News reports.

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Danair allegedly attacked Edwards days after being released from jail after he was charged with assault against her in connection with an alleged May 30 incident, according to the Star Tribune. It's not immediately clear if he had obtained an attorney or entered a plea to the assault charge.

If Danair survives, Burnsville authorities will consider criminal charges against him, a city spokesperson said, per CBS News.

Meanwhile, Amir is being remembered by his family as a courageous "protector."

"He was a leader, a protector of his siblings," Edwards said, per the outlet. "He was my biggest cheerleader. Every day I go to work, he'd say, 'Have a good day, Mommy. I love you.'"

"We're finally free of [Danair], but my child paid the ultimate sacrifice," Edwards said, per the outlet. "My children, all of them, I feel so bad for them. They are traumatized. It's going to take years, if it ever goes away."

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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