A father drove into a car carrying his nine-year-old daughter, then shot into the vehicle and wounded her in Alabama.
Robert Hooper, 39, is accused of trying to kill his daughter, her mother and stepfather, and two other children on Sunday.
Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Wright says Hooper chased a car his daughter was riding in along Interstate 10 in Mobile.
He then allegedly shot out one of its tires, rammed into it and then began firing into the vehicle when it came to a stop, wounding his daughter in her shoulder.
There were five people in the car at the time, including two other children, ages six months and two years. The incident involved a seven-mile chase along the interstate.
The car carrying the girl was able to keep driving. Mobile police Cpl. LaDerrick DuBose said the suspect may have been having a child custody dispute with the victims.
The girl is reportedly out of the hospital and was recovering at home on Thursday morning.
Her father, Robert Hooper, is in jail on a nearly $1.1 million bond and is expected back in court on Thursday for an arraignment hearing. He is charged with five counts of attempted murder.
He was also charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, illegally owning a pistol, discharging a gun into an occupied vehicle, and possessing illegal contraband.
Hooper kept quiet as officers led him to a Mobile Police patrol car to be taken to Metro Jail. While Hooper didn’t say anything, officers spoke about his arrest. Corporal LaDerrick DuBose said, ‘Me as a father, I couldn’t see myself doing that.’
Officers believe the incident started with a custody exchange. DuBose said, ‘I do believe it was a case where either she, the child, was either with the mom and he was coming to pick her up, or vice-versa, but I believe it was the case of him getting ready to take custody, or give back custody.’
Hooper has a prior arrest record. Court records show back in 1999, when he was 18, he tried to rob someone at gunpoint.
He was sentenced to serve 20 years with 16 of those suspended.
On his Facebook page, a picture of a gun was posted Friday, just two days before the shooting, with a caption saying:’My new toy’.
‘It could have been way worse than that. I’m just glad he’s caught,’ Julius Lewis, the girl’s uncle told News 5 .
‘When I heard she got shot it crushed my heart. I didn’t know if she was alright or nothing. I’m calling and nobody is picking up. It’s just a bad sight. It’s something you don’t want to hear or see especially when it’s family like a real little one.’