LITTLE ROCK, AR–An Arkansas family is mourning the loss of a teenager shot at a party in North Little Rock.
Authorities are still searching for the gunman who shot D’Angelo Hooks in November.
His mother says it’s what happened when the family was rushed to send him to a nursing home that made matters worse for both him and his loved ones.
D’Angelo’s mother, Danyelle Hooks, describes her son as a hard working kid who worked two jobs and did well in school.
He was a student at North Little Rock High School when he was shot as an innocent bystander at a party.
His mother says suffered again in the place that was supposed to take care of him.
She told her story to KARK 4 Reporter Brittney Johnson and Columbia College professor Jeff Kelly Lowenstein.
“My son called and said D’Angelo was shot in the head,” she says, recalling the night her youngest son called to say her oldest had been shot.
“My son? The one that don’t do nothing but go to school and go to work? The one about to graduate from school, my son,” says Hooks.
Still reeling from the shooting, Hooks says the family received more heartbreaking news from doctors
“They said his brain was like a mushroom, they told us they didn’t want to give us hope but they didn’t want to take hope away from us,” she says.
Once he was stable, the hospital discharged D’Angelo to a nursing home while he waited for another surgery on his head. Soon after, his family found a stage 4 pressure sore infected to the bone on his rear end. It was one of many his mother says required surgery.
“The circumstances of how he went there was a nightmare in itself, putting him there, for this to happen,” Hooks says, upset over the end result.
KARK 4 called Brookside Health and Rehab and was told the administrator was out.
The station is waiting to get comment on the family’s concerns, but our team obtained documents showing from 2012-2015 the state cited Brookside numerous times for failing to treat and prevent bedsores, failing to prevent medical errors and for not investigating neglect allegations.
“They didn’t treat my son right,” Hooks says.
Hooks says the infections prevented doctors from moving forward with surgery on D’angelo’s head, crushing any hope he would ever heal.
“Good kid, respectful. I just feel like I was robbed,” she says.
D’Angelo Hooks passed away Friday, February 20th. He was 18-years-old.
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office is still searching for the 3-4 shooters they say were involved at the incident on East 46th Street and Primrose in North Little Rock on November 2nd, 2014.
Investigators believe the shooters were driving a burnt orange Dodge Charger with black racing stripes on the side.
Brookside has the lowest rating, a 1-star rating on the Nursing Home Compare website. The government encourages families to use that site when researching for a facility for loved ones.
Relatives say D’Angelo could have still ended up at Brookside, due to his condition not many facilities would take him. Still the family feels with more time to research they could have known what to look for.
Click here to find out about more about how nursing homes near you are rated.
Click here to get connect with Arkansas Advocates for Nursing Home Residents.
Jeff Kelly Lowenstein is a lecturer in the Communication and Media Innovation department at Columbia College Chicago. His participation in the story is supported by a Faculty Development Grant from the college.
Click here to read Kelly Lowenstein’s three-part series about nursing homes for the Center for Public Integrity.