Bradenton drive-by shooting victim's mom: 'He's alive, and that is all that matters'

jdeleon@bradenton.comAugust 1, 2013 

MANATEE -- A mother is vigilant as a team of doctors slowly brings her 4-year-old son out of sedation just days after he was the innocent victim of a shooting in Bradenton.

Davien Martinez was shot at 11:19 a.m. Saturday as bullets were exchanged between people in two nearby passing vehicles. A bullet entered the family's home on the 2600 block of 36th Avenue West.

Davien was home with his mother, Diana Lopez, and her boyfriend at the time of the shooting.

The bullet entered the upper part of Davien's brain, passed through his nose and eye socket and lodged in his jaw. According to Lopez, the boy was sedated due to the swelling in his brain.

Doctors were able to remove the bullet, but the boy's vision is still in question with so much blood and swelling still present.

"They are not 100 percent as to the extent of the damage to the right eye," Lopez said. "Most likely there is a good chance he will be blind in his right eye."

No other permanent damage has been determined.

"If that is all that's wrong, then I can live with that," Lopez said. "He is alive, and that is all that matters."

Manatee County detectives continue to look for a "person of interest" in the shooting.

Detectives believe Horatio Papillion was in one of two vehicles involved in the shooting Saturday near the intersection of 26th Street West and 36th Avenue West.

Detectives initially thought the Lopez house was targeted but have determined it was not.

"It just so happens to be our house was in the crossfire," Lopez said.

Detectives are also looking for a man seen by another witness running near the crime scene after the shooting.

"That witness didn't have such good information on the cars but had a good description of the man running," Manatee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dave Bristow said. "He told us, 'Well, I'm not sure if he was running because he was involved or because he was scared.'"

The runner was described as having short blond hair with tattoos on his right arm and right shoulder. He was wearing blue jean shorts, shirtless and carrying what appeared to be a black shirt, according to the sheriff's office.

"We would like to talk to him," Bristow said.

Lopez has been told her son will remain hospitalized for at least another month. He has been responsive to commands, which doctors and staff tell her is a good sign.

Various fund-raisers have already been started in Davien's name.

The Congregational United Church of Christ of Bradenton, which is adjacent to and owns the house where Davien was shot, has set up a fund for the family. The Rev. Dr. Bob Sichta said donations can be dropped off, mailed in or submitted online and 100 percent of the money raised will go to Lopez.

"They are in need of it," Sichta said. "As a community we are helping."

Two other fund-raisers are also being organized.

The first will be held Friday night at Studio 21, 2714 14 St. W., with all proceeds going directly to the family. Admission will be $5 for women and $10 for men.

The second fund-raiser is scheduled for Labor Day at Ace's Lounge, 4343 Palma Sola Blvd. Times are to be determined.

Anyone with information about the shooting and/or Papillion's whereabouts can call Det. Darryl Davis at 941-747-3011, ext 2535, or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.

Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

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