¡Que Onda Magazine!

Houston's oldest bilingual publication

7-Year-Old Lakewood Church Shooting Victim Breathing on His Own, Still in Critical Condition

Samuel, the 7-year-old boy who sustained a gunshot wound to the head during the tragic incident at Lakewood Church on February 11, is now breathing without the assistance of a ventilator, according to an update shared by his grandmother, Walli Carranza, on Facebook. Carranza revealed on Saturday that Samuel had been extubated but remains in critical condition.

In her heartfelt post, Carranza expressed both hope and concern for Samuel’s condition, stating, “Will he live tomorrow? No one knows.” She detailed the challenges Samuel faces, including the possibility of undergoing additional neurosurgery, marking his sixth procedure since sustaining the injuries that left his skull shattered by bullets.

Samuel was present with his mother, Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36, when she entered Lakewood Church and opened fire with an AR-15 rifle two weeks ago. While Moreno was fatally shot by off-duty officers who returned fire, Samuel was struck during the exchange. The circumstances surrounding the bullet that hit Samuel remain unclear.

Carranza provided another update on Sunday morning, sharing a heartwarming moment: “Samuel Carranza smiled today!” she announced on Facebook.

Since the tragic incident, Carranza has been vocal in advocating for stronger gun safety laws and has criticized lawmakers and local agencies for their handling of the situation. She pointed fingers at Child Protective Services of Montgomery County and Harris County, alleging negligence in failing to remove Samuel from Moreno’s custody despite her known untreated mental illness.

In her social media posts, Carranza speculated that Moreno may have been attempting suicide with her actions. She condemned the accessibility of assault weapons and called for a collaborative mental health and law enforcement response to prevent similar tragedies.

Looking to the future, Carranza acknowledged the uncertainty surrounding Samuel’s recovery, emphasizing the irreversible impact of gun violence on lives. She urged people to take action, calling on lawmakers to prioritize children’s safety over Second Amendment rights.

As Samuel continues his brave battle for recovery, Carranza’s updates serve as a poignant reminder of the devastating consequences of gun violence and the urgent need for comprehensive action to prevent such tragedies.