Hundreds attend vigil for 3-year-old boy killed in highway shooting

Rene Blancas Jr. struck by bullet while riding in family car

SAN ANTONIO – Hundreds of South Side residents gathered Wednesday night to mourn with the family of a 3-year-old boy killed in a shooting just days before his birthday.

A vigil was held at 5 Diamonds Park on South Flores the same day Rene Blancas Jr. would have celebrated his birthday.

The crowd released balloons and sang happy birthday. 

Related: Councilman makes plea to community regarding shooting death of boy, 3

Nicole Burt, a mother who attended the vigil, she didn't know the family but felt compelled to show them love and support. 

"Having a son the same age breaks my heart. It could have been anybody's kid. It could have been mine," Burt said while holding her son.

San Antonio police said Rene was sleeping in the back of his family's vehicle on Saturday night when a bullet hit him at Briggs Avenue and New Laredo Road. His sister who was sleeping next to him was not injured.

Police Chief William McManus along with other city leaders attended the vigil. McManus promised the family his officers will find the killer. 

Related: Shots fired at car on highway hit, kill child days shy of 4th birthday

Rene's family said he was a sweet, loving boy who loved playing baseball and wanted to grow up to be Spider-Man. 

Burt was at a loss for words. In pain and anger, she asked who would shoot at a car. 

"It could have been your kid. You would want answers, too," she said.

Police are looking for a gold or beige four-door 2000 model Honda Civic. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers 210-224-7867. 

About the Author:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.