SAN ANTONIO – It’s been one year since Sarah Aguilar was shot and killed while sitting in a parked car.
Manuel Gonzales, who was 18 years old at the time when he allegedly pulled the trigger, was indicted for manslaughter Jan. 31.
Aguilar’s family on Tuesday gathered around her grave, released some of their pain and released balloons into a gray sky.
“She was something else,” her big brother, Gabriel Munoz, said. “It hurts. It really does. Birthdays, other family gatherings, it’s just not the same without her.”
Police said one year ago, Aguilar, who was 17 years at the time, was sitting in the front seat of a car parked outside her mother’s home. They said Gonzales was in the back seat when he allegedly reached for a gun in his pocket and pulled the trigger, hitting Aguilar in the back.
Aguilar was taken to a hospital, where she later died.
Munoz said the two did know each other.
“She’s never brought him up to me or our family, but we did hear at the time that they had dated, and that was news to us,” he said.
Police said Gonzales and his friend ran from the scene after the shooting and were later arrested, a detail that adds to the family’s confusion. They don’t know whether the shooting was intentional.
“It seemed like at that time, everybody’s story was the same on that incident, that it was an accident. But you always wonder, ‘What if it was more?’” Munoz said.
Either way, Munoz is choosing forgiveness.
“I’m not going to carry hate. We all know what that does to people holding onto grudges like that. But at the end of the day, I still want him to be held accountable for what he did,” he said.
Munoz said he was saving those thoughts for another day. Tuesday was all about Aguilar and the family that loves and misses her.