DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A close look at the home where Rory Norman was murdered days before his 2nd birthday makes it clear his shooter was aiming to kill.
Norman’s step-grandfather, Cecil Thomas, opened a gate to the backyard of the home on Valentine Street and reveled three bedroom windows pierced by gunfire. The passage is narrow, meaning the shooter had to stand within just a few feet of the house when they began shooting.
One window was hit nine times, with most of the bullet holes clustered tightly toward the bottom of the pane. Dallas police say, the shots were fired down toward where people were sleeping inside.
Behind the first window struck was where Thomas’ step-grandson lay sleeping early Sunday morning. The next two bedrooms belonged to Thomas’ step-son, Jaylon Miller, and Thomas’ 9-year-old daughter.
Miller, 20, remains hospitalized after being shot five times. Luckily Thomas’ daughter wasn’t in her room — she’d crept into bed with him and his wife that night, on the opposite side of the house.
“When we heard all that noise, we was all asleep. We went to react… get to the kids.”
Thomas, a retired Army medic, said he first heard Jaylon yelling. “Pop, I been shot,” he remembers hearing. “I said, ‘You got to crawl out of the bed, and he crawled out of the bed.”
It was then he heard his step-daughter crying for the baby. He found Rory unresponsive. “Called 911, laid the baby down, did what they told me to do,” he said.
The little boy, who he said was always there to greet him when he came home, never woke up.
“Meet me at the door. ‘Pop pop. You got me some chips?’ Yea, I got you some chips,” he said laughing at the memory. The emotion keeps creeping in. “I’m trying to keep it suppressed as much as possible.”
Thomas isn’t sure who targeted his home or why. Dallas police have not named a suspect or suggested a motive.
Rory would have celebrated his second birthday on January 24. “Who did something to you in this house?” Thomas wondered aloud of the person responsible.
What they left behind are broken windows and broken hearts. But Thomas said he’ll have to work through the grief. “Trying to deal with it ‘cause we got to put this family back together.”