Boy's parents talk for the first time since drive-by shooting

by: Shae Rozzi Updated:

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ATLANTA - The mother and father of an 8-year-old boy injured in a drive-by shooting while he was sleeping shared their story for the first time since the incident Tuesday night.

Ahijah Geffard had to have surgery Thursday afternoon to drain fluid around his lungs, according to his mother who spoke with Channel 2's Shae Rozzi.

"We're just trying to stay strong," Tarzarria Phillips told Rozzi over the phone from her son's hospital room at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

Phillips, her son and daughter were asleep inside her mother's home on Hassana Lane in South Fulton County when the shots rang out.

"I didn't really hear any gunshots," Phillips said. "I just heard him say, 'Mommy, mommy, mommy,' and it sounded like he was choking. Once I turned on the light I asked him, 'Are you hurt? Are you hurt?' And he said. 'Yeah, my back.' And I pulled his pajama shirt up and there was a hole in the back."

Phillips called 911. A bullet hit her son in the back and fractured his ribs, she said.

Phillips said she was holding her son in her arms when Fulton County police arrived at the home, according to the police report.

"It's hard because he's a child," Mario Williams, the boy's father, told Rozzi over the phone.
Williams said he has no idea who would shoot into the home and is frustrated that no one has come forward.

He said he's hoping his son's condition continues to improve.

"We're just hoping for the best," Williams said.

"We're just trying to stay strong," Phillips added. "We thank everyone for their support and their prayers."

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