Fear of shootings keeping families trapped in homes on East Side

Children struck by bullets recently in area

SAN ANTONIO – Children are constantly trapped in their homes by gang shootings outside their front doors.

Families living in The Palms Apartments at East Commerce and East Houston streets said they’re terrified that they’ll be shot, or even worse, that their children will be hurt.

A 7-year old boy and his 3-year old cousin were struck by bullets in what police are calling a gang-related shooting. Police are still looking for the three men involved.

Dayna Jones said she was nearly hit by flying bullets in a Tuesday shooting, just hours before the shooting injured the boys.

“Me and my kids, we’re terrified because we don’t know if we’re going to get hit by something. Right there is a bullet hole,” she said, pointing to a hole in the wall near to her second-floor apartment.

After the shooting Tuesday, Jones’ children have been feeling uneasy about living there. She said there had been rumors about a shooting taking place and people being told to keep their children inside the apartment days before.

This latest shooting is one of several engulfing and trapping children in the East Side. In May, an 8-year-old boy was grazed by a bullet while inside his home during a drive by shooting. And in July, a 4-year-old was shot and killed in a gang shooting. Police have not arrested anyone in those shootings.

Pastor Ray Torres, with Sold Out Believers, is calling out gang members to stop the senseless violence.

“You're hurting innocent kids and no more. Our community, we're not going to stand for this anymore,” he said.

Torres is urging churches in the area to step in to help pull the children in that apartment complex to safety. His church sends a van to the complex to pick up kids to take them to the church for a safe place to play.

“If we don’t teach them, the drug dealers are going to teach them,” he said.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the city is doing all it can to help reduce violence in that area. He had a promise to the mother of the kids that were hurt.

“We're with you and we are going to do everything in our power as a city to ensure your child feels safe in your community,” he said.

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