18-Month-Old Shot in Road Rage Attack Reunited with Samaritan Who Helped Save His Life


A toddler was almost killed in a terrible road rage confrontation in Houston, Texas, on May 1.

One-year-old Brandon Jayden Ross was riding in the back of his father’s car when his dad got into an altercation with another driver, KTRK-TV reported.

Reports vary on what exactly happened: KTRK reported that the father had merely stopped very close to the other driver’s bumper, but a different report by the Houston Chronicle said that he was involved in a fender bender.

Whatever the nature of the incident, though, it certainly didn’t warrant the other driver’s reaction.

He exited his vehicle and demanded that Brandon’s father do the same. The driver wore a gun on his hip, and he kept motioning toward it.

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Spooked, Brandon’s dad drove off. That was when the other driver opened fire, the bullets penetrating the vehicle’s body and striking the little boy.

“He didn’t hear the gun sounds because he’s hard of hearing,” Brandon’s mother, Summon Rudolph, explained. “He didn’t hear the gun sounds, but he heard his babies crying in the backseat.”

“Brandon started to slump over. [He] grabbed his son and raised up his shirt as he was driving.

“He saw all of the blood pouring out of his chest and drove to the nearest store for help.”

Amazingly, a nurse named Joanna Lopez was inside the store.

She immediately went out and began trying to help little Brandon. Lopez said that the most important thing she did was manage the toddler’s emotional state.

“I just tried to keep him calm,” Lopez said. “Sometimes little kids they feel what their parents are feeling.”

Brandon’s parents had good reason to feel afraid. Not only had their son gotten shot, but his injuries were also a hair’s breadth away from becoming fatal.

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“It was really close to his heart, but it didn’t hit his heart. It grazed his spine, ribs and wounded his lung,” Rudolph said.

“I’m super grateful that he’s okay. I know he can make it through this because he’s really strong. He’s a fighter.”

The angry mother has issued a public call for the shooter to turn himself in.

“You did it. Now take responsibility for your actions,” she said. “Don’t walk away. Don’t hide. You did it.”

Police have yet to find the shooter, but Rudolph can take solace in one piece of good news: Little Brandon has been discharged from the hospital.

But before he returned home, he enjoyed a very special reunion with Lopez. The nurse who saved his life came and visited him.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Wheaton College
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