Neighborhood worried about violence in wake of drive-by shooting that claimed life of 4-year-old

'A stray bullet -- it don't have no name on it,' one neighbor said


SAN ANTONIO – Residents of an East side neighborhood are concerned about others who may fall victim to stray bullets after a drive-by shooting claimed the life of a 4-year-old boy.

De-Earlvion Whitley, 4, was killed Wednesday night after bullets ripped into his home in the 200 block of Hub Avenue. Police believe the shooting may have been retaliation for a shooting near a store on Spriggsdale Boulevard earlier that day.

They believe the intended target has a connection to the home, but was not around during the shooting.

READ THE INITIAL STORY: 4-year-old boy killed, mother wounded in drive-by shooting 

Neighbors in the area around Hub Avenue and Spriggsdale Boulevard say the violence worries them.

"I mean everywhere around here is known to be crime riddled," Joseph Harris, who was on his way to the same store on Spriggsdale that just days ago was a crime scene, said.
"First time I came there was like 60 shell casings, and they had to walk me through the crime scene to get to my house, and then when that last incident happened it was just so close it sounded like it was one of my neighbors," Harris said. "You know, and I'm ducking." 

The shots he heard were the ones that claimed De-Earlvion's life.

RELATED: Emotions run high in wake of fatal drive-by shooting 

"I was sad about it," James Gonzales, who lives on the same block as Whitley, said. "Baby shouldn't die in its sleep like that."

Living between Wednesday's two shooting scenes, Gonzales said the neighborhood can be violent. He worries about his children and grandchildren when they come to visit.

"A stray bullet -- it don't have no name on it," he said. "It can hit anybody."

A few blocks over, Laquita Dalton has the same concern. She says her street is quiet, but her 25 year-old son passed the Spriggsdale shooting after it happened.

"Bullets don't necessarily have a particular target when people are battling," Dalton said. "My son could have been hit if he was just walking by."

RELATED: Mother vows to never return to home where son, 4, was killed in drive-by shooting 

After three years here, she is thinking of moving. There are obstacles, though.

"How easy is it going to be to sell my home with the crime increasing over here?" she wondered.

In the meantime, the question is, how easy will it be to live?

To Harris, the shootings were tragic, but not unfamiliar.

"When you get used to having to walk through crime scenes, or you get used to almost tripping over dead bodies. It's sad to say, but it's something you almost get used to," he said. "But you don't want it to be something that your kids get used to."

He believes the violence will "only keep happening as long as we allow it to keep happening."

"Until we say you know what, 'we going to stand up and take back what's ours and not going to let ourselves get bullied or pushed over,'" he said. "If this is our community, we got to stand for it."


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