4-year-old Bradenton shooting victim stays brave despite 'owie eye'

August 12, 2013 

Inside his room Sunday, Davien’s mother, Diana Lopez, cuddled with her son in his hospital bed. BAY NEWS 9 PHOTO

ST. PETERSBURG -- Inside the hospital room of a 4-year-old boy still recovering from a stray bullet wound, or his 'owie eye,' a mother cuddles with her son on his hospital bed.

There are still no arrests in a Bradenton shooting July 27 that put 4-year-old Davien Martinez in the hospital. Meanwhile, the community is rallying behind Martinez as he continues to recover at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.

Davien’s mother, Diana Lopez, hearing her son's voice is an answered prayer.

“I love you,” Lopez said. “I love you,” he answered.

Davien was hit by a stray bullet last month, as a drive-by shooter fired at another vehicle outside the family’s Bradenton home.

“It’s nice to have him want to hug you and kiss you,” said Lopez. “He’s eating by himself, like a big boy, right?”

Bandages mark where the bullet traveled through Davien’s forehead and cheek, damaging the socket of his right eye.

“He’s doing good. He’s progressing really well,” said Lopez.

It’s too soon to tell whether Davien will be permanently blind in his right eye. For now, Davien calls it his “Ow-ie eye,” and he isn't letting it stop him from playing his favorite video game.

“I’m on level three,” he said proudly.

Lopez says she hasn't told Davien how he ended up in the hospital.

"He just knows that he's sick," Lopez said.

She also hasn’t said why it happened – which is a question she says may never be answered even if police arrest the person responsible for the gunfire.

What she is sure of, is the support they have in the community. Evidence of that fills Davien's hospital room, from cards to donations.

“You don’t think that there’s a lot of good people and that people you don’t even know are willing to help - and there is,” she said.

Surrounded by family, friends, and even superheroes, Lopez says Davien is proving to be the bravest one of all.

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