Authorities in Georgia have apprehended the suspect accused of plowing his car into a Georgia 9-year-old as she played in her front yard, severely injuring the young girl.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 28-year-old Gabriel Jabri Fordham was arrested on Tuesday evening in connection with the collision that left LaDerihanna Homes with a fractured skull, broken pelvic bone, and several cuts and other internal injuries.
According to the report, a lawyer representing Fordham claimed that he never meant to hit the young child, claiming that he was trying to fight off a carjacker when the horrifying incident—which was captured on surveillance camera—unfolded on Friday evening.
“Someone jumped in his vehicle with a pistol, put the gun to his face, (and) made him drive,” Attorney Ryan Williams told Channel 2 Action News, according to AJC. “My client tried to take the gun from him and the guy hits him in the face and my client blacks out.”
Williams said that the man who was seen running away from the car following the crash was responsible. He also said that Fordham wanted to stay at the scene, but also fled as Holmes’ family members began to confront him.
Fordham, he added, also called DeKalb police immediately after to negotiate surrender, although police have not confirmed that account.
Fordham already has a criminal record, having been previously charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault, burglary, forgery and a probation violation.
He is currently facing charges of failure to maintain lane, failure to stop at a stop sign, reckless driving, hit and run and serious injury by vehicle.
In the meantime, LaDerihanna’s family is just glad that “the driver of the vehicle who struck her while she was playing in her front yard has been identified and arrested on a host of charges,” and is looking forward to the other person in the vehicle being found.
“She is a strong little girl and we are hopeful that she will make a full recovery and get back to doing the things she loves,” her family said in a statement on Wednesday.
The young child will have to learn to walk again, however the nation has rallied behind her with a GoFundMe to offset her medical expenses raising more than $47,000 in two days.