A 10-year-old boy with special needs in Texas was placed on life support after his family says he was doused with gasoline and intentionally set on fire by other children, according to a report.
Kayden Culp’s organs were failing and he was in a medically induced coma, the family said Wednesday, though his condition appeared slightly improved the following day.
More than 20 percent of the boy’s body was burned in the incident, which occurred Sunday afternoon, television station WOAI in San Antonio reported.
The young boy was playing in a field with two other children when one of the kids doused him with gasoline and another lit him on fire, the victim’s aunt told the TV station.
“The other kids are saying that he was going to be riding his bike like he always is, my nephew Kayden is going to be riding his bike. And they said, ‘We’re going to grab him and take him inside and burn him,’” Kelly Mack said
A child who was taken into custody “is responsible for causing the victim’s severe burns” and been charged with first-degree arson, the Kerrville Fire Marshal said, according to WOAI.
“[Kayden] needs justice. I mean, no kid deserves to go through anything he’s going through. At all. Period,” said Ashely White, a family friend who witnessed the fire, but didn’t realize the young boy was involved.
The family believes the two boys intentionally set the fire, an account the Kerrville Police Department officials disputed Thursday.
Officers said they do not think it was planned, and that the boys may have been trying to light a shed on fire and used an accelerant to increase its size, WOAI reported.
“If it wasn’t premeditated, it still is attempted murder,” Mack said.
A YouCaring page to pay for Kayden’s medical expenses and support his family while the parents care for their son. It has raised more than $120,000 as of Thursday afternoon, far surpassing its initial goal of $10,000.
CNN contributed to this story.