GALVESTON, Texas — It was the 4th of July and the Smith family was headed home, excited to pop the fireworks they just bought for their sons, 1-year-old Bentley and 2-year-old Messiah.
Reginald Smith inadvertently cut another vehicle off and the two drivers exchanged words.
Suddenly, a bullet pierced their truck, causing a spark that ignited the fireworks.
Smith is forever haunted by what he saw -- and heard -- as flames spread through the vehicle. His two boys burned as they sat strapped in their car seats.
“The scream that they had is like a scream like they're dying. It's a scream you've never heard before," said Jasmin Wolford, the boys' mother. My 2-year-old, Messiah, is so tough. He was just crying saying 'I'm burning, I'm burning.' I'm looking at them and their skin is just melting."
Reginald struggled to drive the car to safety.
"i'm just in this clouded cab with the fireworks going off boom, boom, boom," he said. "I told him, 'Ok, just hold on. I'm going to get you out. I'm going to get you out.'"
Messiah was easy to pull from the fire.
Bently was not.
Reginald describes how he struggled for almost ten minutes, watching his Bently in agony.
No matter what he tried — he couldn't get the baby out.
But then he says things went silent and he heard a voice.
"I heard him, clear as day, in that fire."
"I'm hearing the roar of the fire — it's just like it's so suffocating in there so you can't really breath in there. Then, all of a sudden, it just vanished like I'm in a silent room full of nothing. Then I heard it, clear as day man, 'If you pull him out by his arms, he will come out.'"
Smith did what he was told and Bently was freed.
At the same time, a good Samaritan appeared and took the family to the hospital.
"The first four days — if you would have told me those were my kids in there, I would have told you you're lying because they were so unrecognizable," their mother said.
Smith and his boys are all still recovering at Shriners in Galveston.
In two months, they've had multiple skin grafts and surgeries.
There will be many more to come.
A teen – Bayron J. Rivera – surrendered a couple days after the shooting and was charged with several counts of aggravated assault.
Smith still doesn't understand why all of this happened.
He says he tried to deescalate the situation when Rivera returned to find the family — armed with a semi-automatic rifle.
"So, I'm like, "I've got babies in the car, it ain't that serious. He's like, 'Whatever, whatever, he said it again. I'm trying to shoot your s __t up."
The family has started a GoFundMe to cover their medical bills.
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