Alabama man speaks out after losing 6-year-old grandson in tornado

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As first responders continue to look for survivors in the Lee County tornado, the grandfather of one of the 23 victims is thankful some of his family members were spared.

Bobby Kidd told CBS 42 that his grandson, 6-year-old Armando Hernandez Jr. was found dead Sunday night. Kidd said the energetic boy was known to all as “AJ.”

The boy was sheltered in a closet with his 10-year-old brother, Jordan, and their father, Steven, when the tornado hit.

“He grabbed the boys and was holding them. He said he could feel his ears start popping. The house exploded and the force of the tornado snatched both the kids away from them,” Kidd said.

AJ’s body was later found by officials, Kidd said. AJ’s brother, Jordan Griffin, is recovering at Children’s of Alabama. Steven Griffin is recovering at UAB hospital. 

“This morning Steven was able to go by wheelchair over to see Jordan, right now they are both stable,” Kidd said.

Through tears, Kidd expressed sorrow for other families in the small Beauregard community who also have lost loved ones.

“When we were at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika last night, the hospital was so crowded and even in a time of tragedy, everybody was badning together and praying for each other. We saw friends that had lost loved ones and they took time to pray for us, and we just want them to know that we’ve lifted them up too. We are praying for everybody in our community,” Kidd.

The grandfather told CBS 42 that the family is moved by condolences received by strangers across the country. They continue to ask for prayers for loved ones in the hospital and other families impacted by the tonado.

Kidd will share more about the life of his grandson A.J. and the impact he had on the f…amily tonight on CBS 42 News at 10.

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