East Side residents looking for solutions in wake of violence

Shots fired Monday morning were latest in a crime spree

By Katrina Webber - Crime Fighters Reporter, Tim Stewart - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - Some people who live on San Antonio’s East Side are wondering how to stem a recent rash of shootings, one of which was deadly.

The most recent incident happened before 6 a.m. Monday on South Mittman Street near East Drexel.

San Antonio police said they had received several calls about shots fired on various streets before locating the apartment building on South Mittman Street that had been hit.

While people were inside the unit, no one was hit by the gunfire.

Last Tuesday morning, windows of two parked cars were shattered when someone fired toward an apartment building in the 500 block of Blaine Street.

While officers were investigating there, gunshots rang out in the 2600 block of East Crockett Street as someone fired into a home.

No one was injured in either of those shootings.

However, Tuesday afternoon, three people were shot while standing at the corner of Hays and Lockhart streets.

Police were one block away at the time, still investigating the earlier shooting on Blaine Street.

A 20-year-old man and 16-year-old boy died in that shooting.

“It hurts our hearts because we love — this is our neighborhood. These are our friends,”said Charles Foltz, who lives in the area. “To see these kids dying on a street corner over seemingly nothing, it really is sad.”

Foltz is pastor of a neighborhood church and also runs a youth outreach program aimed at preventing this sort of trouble.

It is clear that the violence and the deaths, in particular, are taking a toll on the community.

People have left balloons, candles and cards at the scene of the deadly shooting.

Neri Schoonover, who didn’t know either victim personally, spent Monday morning sweeping the sidewalk at the makeshift memorial and relighting candles.

“I want it to look nice,” she said. “If it was my son or daughter, I would do the same.”

Schoonover moved to the East Side from Houston a year ago and had been noticing some positive changes there. The recent spate of violence, she said, has her asking for divine help.

“I pray and I am close to God, so I don't feel fear,” she said.

Still, she wants others to be safe.

Police officers who drove by the deadly shooting site Monday morning told KSAT 12 News they are increasing patrols in that area. 

Foltz, meanwhile, said he also plans to continue doing his outreach work and reach children before the trouble starts. 

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