DETROIT – Damarian Johnson was 13 years old when he was shot in the head at a Detroit gas station.
“I want you to know that day was the worst day of my life,” Johnson’s mother, Diane Brathwaite, said. “The day you shot him. He was learning to drive earlier that day. Now he’s back to being an infant again.”
Johnson is nearly 16 now and has severe brain damage because of the shooting.
“He can’t walk. He can’t talk. He can’t laugh. He can’t smile. The only way he can express emotion is crying. Pain is the only emotion I’ve seen since this happened,” Diane Brathwaite said.
Charles Phillips, the man who shot Johnson, said he didn’t intend to shoot Johnson.
“I’m lost for words. I’m sorry,” Phillips said.
Johnson’s family and the judge did not buy Phillips’ apology.
Johnson’s mother is a nurse. She said she can’t go back to helping patients when her son needs around-the-clock care.
“It never crossed my mind that it would be my child laying in the bed helpless ... As I continue to pray for my son. I’m forced to pray for you too. I don’t like it but I’m forced,” Diane Brathwaite said.
Phillips was sentenced to 18 to 30 years behind bars.