MANATEE -- Three weeks after being shot in the head, 4-year-old Davien Martinez is finally home.
Davien was the victim of a drive-by shooting July 27 when a stray bullet from an exchange between two vehicles struck him. At the time he was home with his mother, Diana Lopez, and her boyfriend.
Family and friends welcomed Davien home Saturday afternoon. Davien was settling down for a nap three weeks ago when the shooting occurred.
The little boy seemed unaffected by memories of the shooting as he came back to the house, his mother said said.
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"He's very excited to be home," Lopez said.
Lopez had hoped to find a new home to bring Davien back to, but his stay at the hospital was shorter than anticipated.
"It feels very weird being here," Lopez said. "But we couldn't find a place that quickly."
Lopez will continue her search for a new home, and hopes to move as soon as possible.
Davien's recovery, meanwhile, was going so well doctors at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg decided he was well enough to transition to outpatient treatment.
The doctors on Wednesday replaced a portion of bone in his forehead that had been removed to allow the brain to heal after the initial swelling.
"His face was so swollen on Thursday that his right eye was closed and the other he could barely open," Lopez said.
Davien was resting at home Saturday; his forehead and temples were still swollen but he was able to open his eyes. Doctors are still unsure if he will recover the loss of vision in his right eye or the partial hearing loss in one ear.
Meanwhile, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office has not named any suspects in the case.
The Sheriff's Office has been searching for Horatio Papillion, as a "person of interest" in the shooting, as well as another potential witness spotted near the scene. No leads in the case have been reported.
Anyone with information about the shooting and/or Papillion's whereabouts can call Detective Darryl Davis at 941-747-3011, ext 2535, or CrimeStoppers at 866-634-TIPS.
Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049.