Family mourns shooting death of 10-year-old on Thanksgiving morning
SAN ANTONIO - A 10-year-old girl died in what police believe is a gang-related shooting on the North Side Thursday morning.
The family identifies her as Delilah Hernandez. Her mother said she had a future.
“She loved school,” said Delilah’s mother Jacqueline Vega. “She loved cats, dancing. She wanted to become a YouTuber.”
But a handful of bullets put an end to those dreams. They cut through the house on Harwood Drive at about 7 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.
A neighbor says, sadly, it's nothing new.
“There’s been a back and forth thing,” explained neighbor Lester Roundtree. “There’s been gunfire here with return fire in the past years. Lately, there seems to be something. You hear the cars screeching out of here once they’ve had these verbal confrontations right in the middle of the street, and this could be related to something that’s escalating.”
Police said five people were in the house when the shooting happened. Police say an unknown individual fired multiple rounds into the front of the home. It wasn't immediately clear if it was a drive-by shooting or if the shooter walked up to the house.
“We heard gunshots. I threw my boys to the floor and I asked my mom, ‘Where’s Delilah?’ She said in her room in the bed. We all walked in. And my daughter was dead,” explained Vega.
Little Delilah was in a back bedroom when she was shot. Police said she was watching TV, but her mom said she was sleep. She was rushed by EMS to University Hospital and was pronounced dead around 7:35 a.m.
"We expect retaliation,” said neighbor Lester Roundtree. “This never ends. I mean, this is what happens. This is kind of what they do. You hit me, I hit you back. I’m going to hit you harder with a bigger stick kind of thing.”
“This is beyond tragic,” said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus. “Any day's bad, but Thanksgiving makes it worse.”
Chief McManus says the girl's older brother believes he was the target.
“It's unfortunate that he brought this home to his family,” said McManus.
“She was my daughter, and I'm going to miss her,” Vega said, calling her an "innocent little girl."
"There will be a special place for this person when he goes to the next life,” said Chief McManus about the shooter. “This is just unforgivable. I just don't understand how anyone can be so selfishly insensitive about who might be a victim, who might be on the other end of that bullet."
Detectives are following up on some leads, but there had been no arrests as of late Thursday afternoon. They are asking for the public's assistance. If you have any information, contact police at (210) 207-7635.