07/21/2024

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Amir Demarion Harden, inset, against an image of where he used to live in Burnsville, Minnesota

‘Mommy, I’m not leaving you’: 8-year-old boy shot and killed while allegedly trying to protect mother from abusive father’s rage

Inset left: Amir Demarion Harden (GoFundMe); Main image: the apartment where the 8-year-old lost his life while trying to protect his mother in June 2024. (Google Maps)

An 8-year-old Minnesota boy was shot and killed while protecting his mother from his violent father last week, the child’s family says.

Amir Demarion Harden died on June 9 from complications incurred after being shot in the head and neck on June 6, according to a press release issued by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.

On the day of the shooting, the boy’s father, Danair Harden, was released from jail after making bail on domestic violence charges.

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    The elder Harden allegedly returned to the family’s apartment in a rage. Soon, the home on Echo Park Court in Burnsville — a medium-sized city some 15 miles south of Minneapolis — would be shattered forever as both father and son were later rushed to the Hennepin County Medical Center with gunshot wounds.

    “His father tried to shoot & kill me, but my son was shot instead,” Cherish Edwards, Amir’s grieving mother, wrote in a GoFundMe for moving expenses. “Amir tried wrestling the gun out of his father’s hand. I screamed for him to leave and go to the neighbors. He refused & said ‘mommy, I’m not leaving you here.’”

    The ordeal ended with the father shooting himself in the head “after accidentally shooting” his son, Edwards said. The boy’s mother went on to say that Amir’s four siblings witnessed the shocking violence.

    “My kids are traumatized & probably will need therapy for the rest of their lives,” Edwards added in the online fundraiser.

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    Danair Harden remains hospitalized in critical condition, according to the Star Tribune.

    On the day in question, the accused man was facing allegations in Dakota County District Court that, on May 30, he choked Edwards when she expressed her desire to end their 10-year relationship.

    Edwards also alleges Harden tried to stop her from calling for help and fled after police were called. When officers arrived, she advised them Harden likely had a gun in his possession — and a permit to carry. In the end, he was charged with misdemeanor counts of interfering with an emergency call, domestic assault and disorderly conduct.

    “[She] advised that there have been other domestic disputes between her and the defendant several times many years ago,” police wrote in a charging document obtained by the paper — noting that Edwards was acutely concerned Harden would come after her again.

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    During his bail hearing, prosecutors asked for a no-contact order to be issued against Edwards and her apartment, for Harden to surrender his firearms, and for bail to be set at $10,000. First Judicial District Court Judge Dannia Edwards assessed bail at $4,000 instead.

    Harden was free by 4:50 that day; roughly seven hours later, Amir had been shot.

    An investigation is ongoing — likely somewhat hampered by the alleged assailant’s apparently self-inflicted injury.

    “We don’t know that the child was an intended target, and that’s part of what is still under investigation.” city of Burnsville spokesperson Carissa Larsen told the Star Tribune.

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    The post ‘Mommy, I’m not leaving you’: 8-year-old boy shot and killed while allegedly trying to protect mother from abusive father’s rage first appeared on Law & Crime.