HOUSTON — A 1-year-old boy shot on his birthday is now recovering in the hospital, but his mother who was holding him was killed.
Police say the man who killed her, the boy’s father, was out on seven felony bonds, and he got away.
July 1 was the day Layla Steele had been waiting for.
“Everybody that knew Layla knows that she loves her son," Layla's mother Shirley said.
It’s her only child Zeus’ first birthday.
“Every year we celebrate his birthday, we have to celebrate losing my sister,' said Jazz, Layla Steele's sister.
But from here on out, the little boy will always know his birthday is also the day of his mother’s death.
“The only thing we can do now is be strong for Zeus, because he lost his mom," Jazz said.
Shirley Steele says she was on the phone with her daughter Layla when it happened.
“He’s telling her in the background go in the house. Go in the house. We both told her no, don’t go in the house. And the next thing you know, she was like, 'Mom, Mom!' And the phone hung up," Shirley Steele said.
Layla Steele was shot several times Thursday morning, police say, by Zeus’ father. Layla Steele was holding Zeus when it happened. He was also hit.
“He did get shot, not grazed. He was shot," Jazz said.
Outside the hospital where he’s healing, Layla Steele’s mother and sister tell us the man who killed her should’ve been in jail.
“We would say the only way we could get him away from her is if he’s in jail," Jazz said. “She was scared of him. She was in love with him, but she was scared of him. There’s no way that that should’ve slipped, where seven felony bonds, a person was out, and I feel like, my sister’s blood is on their hands.”
They say Layla Steele even had a protective order against him.
“He was on an ankle monitor and told to stay away from her, but was that ankle monitor being monitored?” Jazz said.
But still, they say he found a way to take her life and shoot their son.
“She died protecting him, and all she ever did was protect her son, want the best for him. All she lived for was her son," Shirley Steele said.
We’re still waiting on police to publicly identify that suspect before we release his name. If you have any information, you’re asked to call police.