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Child Abuse Cases Highlight Week of Violence in Broward

Davie police are investigating an overnight shooting.

Just before 3 a.m. Thursday, police responded to a Wawa gas station located at State Road 7 and Griffin Road, in regards to the shooting.

Witnesses say they were sitting in their car when a red Dodge Charger pulled up beside them and two men inside that vehicle began shooting at them.

They said six or seven shots were fired, with one of the bullets going through the driver’s side window.

Police said no one was struck by any of the bullets, although a passenger was cut on his arm by the shattered glass.

Meanwhile, South Florida’s youngest residents are not immune to violence.

Authorities in Broward arrested a nine-time convicted felon Wednesday, days after he shot his ex-girlfriend’s 1-year-old son in an unincorporated part of the county.

According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the victim’s mother had just left the KFC at 3061 West Sunrise Blvd. on Sunday night when her ex-boyfriend, 36-year-old Jeffrey Simmons, started following her car in another vehicle.

Deputies say Simmons shot at the victim’s car twice just east of NW 27th Ave. on West Sunrise Blvd.

The woman fled south on 27th Ave., while Simmons continued chasing her.

The incident eventually ended in the parking lot near a Marshalls on W. Broward Blvd.

Authorities say Simmons exited his vehicle and fired two shots at the woman’s car, striking her son once.

Photo courtesy: Broward County Sheriff’s Office

The toddler underwent successful surgery, although it remains unclear whether he will have permanent physical limitations.

Simmons was taken into custody around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

He is being held at the BSO Main Jail without bond on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, missile into a building and possession of weapon or ammunition by a convicted felon.

In another unfortunate instance of children caught in violent situations, a 29-year-old Margate mother and her boyfriend were arrested this week, as her 4-year-old son is clinically brain dead at a Broward hospital, according to authorities.

Margate Police arrested Shaquita Monique Brockington and Stephon Alexander Beaver last Monday, July 20.

On Wednesday, July 15, officers responded to a 911 call about a 4-year-old with injuries. The child was taken to Broward General Hospital, where multiple injuries were found on his body.

A police report states that Brockington told police the 911 call was because the child had fallen out of a tree and landed on his head.

According to medical staff, the boy has an internal brain bleed, but no external injuries to his head.

They also reported finding additional marks and injuries “in various stages of the healing process” on the child’s chest, throat, arms, legs and back.

Detectives found messages between the couple on the woman’s phone. On the day of the alleged fall and after arriving at the hospital, Brockington received a text from Beaver telling her “Bae relax & go in there with a clear mind. DO NOT CHANGE THE STORY.”

However, Brockington gave detectives a sworn statement last Friday that the story of the boy falling out of a tree was made up between her and Beaver, whom she called her husband.

She told them that on the day of the child’s injuries, she became upset because the boy was not eating his breakfast. She alleges that he ignored her questions as to why he was not eating.

Photo courtesy: Margate Police Department

The police report goes on to say she told detectives that she felt “disrespected” and began punching the child’s legs multiple times. Afterward, Beaver also took punches at the boy’s legs.

Brockington also told police that when she left to go to the bathroom and returned a few minutes later, Beaver was throwing the child in the air and catching him.

She yelled at him to stop, but was ignored. When he did stop, Brockington noticed the child’s breathing was not normal.

Two hours later, she said he was still “breathing funny.” A half hour later, she told Beaver that she was concerned about the child’s breathing because he had recently recovered from bronchitis, and she wanted to call 911.

Nearly four hours after the incident, she noticed drool and blood on the mattress, where the boy was laying.

Beaver told her not to call 911, as he was concerned they would discover the incident. He then created the story of the child falling from the tree.

Medical staff that examined the boy say the type of injuries discovered, including marks on his throat, bite marks, loop shaped scars, and small circular burns, indicate that he injuries occurred continuously and over a length of time.

Additionally, Medical director Jason Schulman, MD, states that the amount and different types of injuries documented indicate that the child suffered continuous abuse while in Brockington’s care.

She is charged with one count of aggravated child abuse and one count of neglect of a child, due to her failure to make a reasonable effort to protect the child from abuse, neglect or exploitation by another person. She also faces one count of lying to law enforcement. Her bond was set at $250,000.

Beaver is charged with aggravated child abuse, child neglect with great bodily injuries, and lying to law enforcement. Bond for all three of his charges was set at $300,000.