Baby clings to life after allegedly being shot by mom - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Baby clings to life after allegedly being shot by mom

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A 1-year-old baby is clinging to life after allegedly being shot by his mother in South Los Angeles Saturday. The woman is in custody after allegedly shooting the baby and shooting and killing her 5-year-old son.

La Tonya Dixon, 26, was disarmed by police at her apartment in the 7800 block of Gramercy Place and arrested about 8:30 a.m. Saturday. She had called 911 to report shooting her children about 8 a.m., police said.

It was unclear what motivated the killings.

Arriving officers said Dixon was on the walkway of her second-floor apartment and waving a gun around, asking police to shoot her. At one point, she appeared ready to jump off the walkway.

"I've wasted my life!" she was quoted as saying.

Police talked to the woman for a while, got her to put down the gun, then rushed her. The children were found in the living room of the apartment.

She was arrested and expected to be charged with murder and also to face a vandalism charge, with total bail of $1.027 million. A watch commander for the Sheriff's Department, which oversees the county's jails, could not say if the charge of vandalism was based on a prior warrant or related to the shooting.

Neighbor Danielle Jones, 17, told the Los Angeles Times that Dixon, who went by Tonya, would sometimes talk to herself and that about 4:30 a.m. Saturday, she heard her yelling "I'm tired. I'm tired."

Dixon walked her always-smiling oldest son to school every day, with the baby in tow, she said. Jones' 2-year-old son would play with the toddler, but Jones said she hadn't seen them outside for about a month, the newspaper reported.

"She closed the doors, and it would be all dark," she told the paper. "She was a wonderful mom. She was a wonderful mom. I just don't know what happened."

Neighbors said Dixon had lived in the one-bedroom apartment for several years.

The surviving boy was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with more than one bullet wound and said to be in grave condition. It was unclear if the father of the boy was around, or who would handle funeral arrangements for the older one. His name was Christian.

Dixon's brother, Ben, and an aunt came to the scene of the shooting.

Activists Earl Ofari Hutchinson and Eddie Jones urged child welfare authorities to investigate what could have been done to prevent the shootings and called for an effort to identify at-risk families.

"There are many families in South L.A. who are undergoing major stresses from personal and financial hardship," Hutchinson said. "This places many children at dire risk."
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