Mother of SA shooting victim: 'She had a baby inside of her'

Desiree Hawkins-Avilez encourages people to come forward with information

SAN ANTONIO – Perhaps it wasn’t road rage after all: The mother of 21-year-old Ditraniq Hawkins believes the person who shot and killed her daughter was targeting the driver of the car she was riding in.

The shooting took place Saturday night at Highway 281 and Stadium Drive.

Hawkins’ mother, Desiree Hawkins-Avilez, said Tuesday night that Ditraniq was eight weeks pregnant.

She also said that at the age of 18, Ditraniq was an ROTC first sergeant in training.

“I always tried to model to her being a strong woman -- to survive the type of environment that we all are in,” Hawkins-Avilez said. “Women can do it.”

But the strong foundation recently started crumbling when Ditraniq got involved with the wrong crowd, Hawkins-Avilez said.

“I told her that that type of lifestyle is only going to end in two ways,” Hawkins-Avilez said. “You (are) either going to go to prison or you're going to end up dead.”

Now she’s pained by the knowledge that maybe she was right.

On Saturday, Ditraniq was riding in her boyfriend’s car, when a black sedan -- identified by police as being linked to the crime -- started chasing the pair. When someone inside the vehicle started firing shots, Ditraniq was killed and her boyfriend was injured.

The car with the shooter inside got away.

“I'm very sure other people know that are close to her and that are close to him,” Hawkins-Avilez said.

To those people, who might have information in the case, Hawkins-Avilez has a sobering message: “You should talk. She had a baby inside of her.”

She pleaded with the community to take a hard look at the shooter’s car: a black sedan with dark-tinted windows and damage to the right-back passenger door area.

“So in your heart, just talk,” Hawkins-Avilez said. “Just turn yourself in. You can be redeemed.”

Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone whose tips lead to an arrest in the case.

Tips can remain anonymous. Anyone with information is asked to call 224-STOP, or 224-7867.

About the Author:

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.