Police: Atlanta boy, shot allegedly by mom, was hit in the back

An Atlanta mother critically wounded her 4-year-old child by shooting him in the back, police said Wednesday.

Jamari Todd remained in critical condition at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. His mother, 41-year-old Patricia Todd, who was jailed on aggravated assault, child cruelty and tampering with evidence charges Tuesday, waived her first hearing before a magistrate on Wednesday. Her next scheduled hearing is in two weeks.

Homicide detectives on Wednesday remained tight-lipped about the case and offered no explanation for the aggravated assault charge against Patricia Todd. The assault charge signals that detectives believe she at least threatened her toddler with the deadly weapon because assault requires intent, according to authorities. But police have not said if they believe Patricia Todd shot Jamari on purpose or accidentally.

“I can confirm the child was shot in the back,” Atlanta police Sgt. Greg Lyon told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The shooting happened about 11 a.m. Tuesday in unit No. 7 of a one-story, cinder-block apartment complex at the intersection of University Avenue and Metropolitan Parkway, Atlanta police Maj. Adam Lee said. Lee, head of major crimes, declined to say if Patricia Todd was cooperating with the investigation.

Neighbor Belinda Weems said she believed Jamari, his mother and her boyfriend had lived in the complex for several months. The boyfriend was at his landscaping job before police were called to the scene, Weems said.

Weems said she did not hear a gunshot — possibly because of the noise from her air-conditioning window unit — but heard the mother hollering.

“I don’t know what could have gone on,” Weems told The AJC Tuesday. “It is shocking.”