PLANTATION (CBSMiami) – A 16-year-old youngster who was nearly killed in a drive-by shooting four years ago in Miami Gardens continues to make progress, according to his mother. And she hopes he one day will be able to walk and talk again.

His older sister has also started a Facebook page for him as both she and her mother remain optimistic.

“I will never give up hope. Never. Never. Never,” said Stephanie Moore in an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “I am his mother. And this is a mother’s love. I love him.”

D’Oench spoke with Moore inside her Plantation apartment as her 16-year-old son Dharmaniyah Moore watched TV and showed that he has some movement in his hands and legs and even tried to say a few words.

“Dharmaniyah is speaking some words when he wants to communicate with us very well with his eyes and hands as well. He’ll say Mom, stop. I think he will be able to speak again. It’s not a matter of hope. I know he will. I’m just grateful and I am not giving up hope because God’s will is not finished yet. He definitely has a sense of what is going on,” she said. “And God does not fail.”

Stephanie Moore showed CBS4 a videotape as well that documents how her son has managed to utter a few words while she was speaking to him.

Experts have told Stephanie Moore that talking to her son could help in his recovery.

“The left side of his skull was injured and that’s why it’s affected his speech. It’s why it is taking more time for him to speak,” she said.

Dharmaniyah Moore was shot in the head in a drive-by shooting around 11 p.m. on July 22nd of 2010. His mother said she was sitting in a car with her son in a Miami Gardens driveway on N.W. 189th Terrace near 18th Avenue when she heard shots.

A stray bullet pierced her son’s head above his left eye, robbing him of his speech and movement and blurring his vision.

Moore spent the first six weeks after the shooting at Jackson Memorial Hospital and was initially in a coma. Since then, Stephanie Moore says her son has been at the Kidz Korner at Plantation Nursing and Rehabilitation Center while receiving intensive therapy.

CBS4 profiled Moore in a story on Oct. 22, 2010 from the Kidz Korner at Plantation Nursing and Rehabilitation Center where he was getting treatment and was attached to separate tubes for oxygen and cool aerosol for his throat.

“The Kidz Korner is the best choice in my life,” she said at the time. “The people here are awesome.”

Moore commuted from Miami-Dade to Plantation for a few years to visit her son at the Kidz Korner until she was able to get an apartment near the rehabilitation center.

“On Friday Dharmaniyah came to our apartment here in Plantation near the Kidz Korner,” she said. “He is finally home. He just needs more physical therapy. He has nurses round the clock but we could use more therapy. Maybe there’s a volunteer or two out there and we are trying to find a larger place to live.”

“He is going to be doing it the next time I call you Peter, he’s going to be walking again,” said Moore.

“Meanwhile,” she said, “we have no idea who did this shooting. We have no leads.”

Dharmaniyah’s older sister, Shantaa Smith, has started a Facebook page for her brother. It has a series of photos and even video of Dharmaniyah on a skateboard a few months before the shooting when he was 12-years-old.

“When he got hurt,” she said, “I was in California at the time. This was my connection to him because I was not able to be with him physically. This is miraculous. He has a lot of fans and people looking for him and that nature. With his story we use to be a blessing and to also give hope to other people so that they can see and understand that only God can do what Dharmaniyah has done.”

She said, “This is about love and hope because I know he will talk and he will walk and he will do everything he’d done before, even better, even skateboard again.”

“There’s another reason why he’s making progress because we have no hate for the person who did this to him. The only thing we can do is just pray one day you’ll surrender and turn yourself in,” said Shantaa Smith.

The drive-by was part of a series of senseless shootings of youngsters that prompted community outrage and at the time, a community activist, the Reverend Jerome Starling, said “We need this coward to be caught immediately.”

Stephanie Moore had pleaded for the shooter or shooters to turn themselves in.

In September of 2010, she told CBS4, “I just need some closure in this. I wish that they could see my child, the state that they left my child in. Hopefully they will turn themselves in and that they will have a heart. I know you have a mother and you have brothers, you have sisters. Come on and come forward and let your mind be free, because I know you’re not resting.”

Anyone with information on this case is urged to call Miami Gardens Police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).


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Peter D'Oench