A child is dead and a man in custody after an attempted carjacking outside a South Fort Worth hospital, police say.
The victim, identified by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office as Zayden McLean, would have celebrated his second birthday in November.
“On Nov. 15, this child’s birthday would’ve been their second birthday,” Fort Worth police Ofc. Jimmy Pollozani said. “Instead, the family and friends have to gather together and plan a funeral for this young child’s life that was taken far too soon by a senseless, by an individual.”
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The incident happened Sunday afternoon at Texas Health Huguley Hospital in the 11800 block of Interstate 35W, according to Fort Worth police.
Police said the 1-year old was injured during the carjacking and transported to Cook Children's in critical condition. The child later died at the hospital.
MedStar, who also responded to the scene, said the mother of the child was injured but was treated at the scene.
Richard Wittwer, said he helped detain the suspected carjacker and shared his story of the events he witnessed.
"I think everyone has a purpose and God puts us in different situations for different reasons and I just think my purpose that day was to be able to help out however I could," said Wittwer.
According to Fort Worth police spokesperson Ofc. Daniel Segura, the child's parents had met at the location to exchange the boy from one parent to the other when a carjacker attempted to steal the mother's car. The father jumped into the vehicle and tried to stop the man, who quickly backed the vehicle out of the parking space and struck the mother, Segura said.
The impact caused the mother to fall and drop the child, Segura said. She and the child were again struck by the vehicle as the driver tried to flee from the scene, he said.
The man was able to drive a short distance away before he crashed the vehicle into a tree, Segura said. He collapsed while he tried to run away and was taken into custody by a security guard.
The suspect, identified as 30-year-old Nico De La Fuente, is in custody facing a charge of capital murder of a child and aggravated robbery, police said.
The 30-year-old is being held on $600,000 bond.
Fort Worth police said the department's homicide detectives have taken over the investigation.
Police said hospital parking lots are typically a safe and secure place for parents who share custody to meet.
“Obviously the parents thought it was a secure location for them to do the child custody and it’s very unfortunate that we had this incident occur in such a secure location at the hospital,” Pollozani said.
De La Fuente's criminal record is lengthy, according to online records, and includes robbery of a vehicle and several DWIs.
A family friend started a GoFundMe account to help the family with funeral and medical costs, with their permission. Click here to help.
NBC 5's Alanna Quillen and Maria Guerrero contributed to this report.