BY Stephen Nartey, 1:40pm June 13, 2024,

8-year-old boy loses his life protecting his mother from his abusive father

Amir Harden/Photo credit: CBS Minnesota

An eight-year-old boy, Amir Harden, has been killed while trying to protect his mother, Cherish Edwards, from his enraged father, Danair Harden. On June 5, Amir stepped between his parents during an altercation and was fatally shot in the head and neck.

Just hours earlier, a court had been warned that the father posed “an immediate threat” following an assault on the mother days before, yet he was still able to return to the family home, according to Daily Mail.

Amir was shot in front of his mother and four young siblings before his father turned the gun on himself in an apparent but unsuccessful suicide attempt.

“We’re finally free of him, but my child paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Edwards said. “My children are traumatized. It’s going to take years if it ever goes away.”

On May 30, Harden, 30, was reported for assault after allegedly trying to strangle Edwards when she ended their 10-year relationship. Edwards informed officers that Harden had a gun permit and often carried a firearm. On June 5, prosecutors requested a $10,000 bail at Dakota County District Court for charges of domestic assault and disorderly conduct.

“He follows or spies on her or leaves threatening messages,” they told the court, and “poses an immediate threat to (Edwards’) safety.”

Judge Dannia Edwards set bail at $4,000, allowing Harden to leave jail at 4:50 p.m. He returned to the family home before midnight. Police responding to the scene found both Harden and his son with gunshot wounds. They were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where Amir later died and Harden remains in critical condition.

“Amir wanted to protect his Mommy,” Edwards said. “It’s just unimaginable, an eight-year-old trying to wrestle the gun out of a grown man’s hand. It’s unbearable pain.”

“I screamed for him to leave and go to the neighbors. He refused and said ‘mommy, I’m not leaving you here.”‘

A police spokeswoman stated that an investigation is underway, and Harden may face criminal charges if he survives.

“We don’t know that the child was an intended target, and that’s part of what is still under investigation,” she added.

Edwards paid tribute to Amir saying he had been a gifted athlete and a “very happy little boy”.

“He was courageous. He was a leader, a protector of his siblings. He was my biggest cheerleader. Every day I go to work, he’d say, ‘Have a good day, Mommy. I love you’.”

An online fundraiser has raised $8,900 to support the grieving family.

“It’s a nightmare that you can’t wake up from, said Deon Edwards, Amir’s grandfather. Edwards said her former partner had a history of violent abuse and urged women with similar partners to escape.

“It doesn’t matter if he hit you 10 years ago, he’s got to leave,” she said. “Next time that’d be your life or your child’s life. I think a lot of women think it’ll never be them.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 13, 2024


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