San Antonio – Family members, classmates and loved ones of a 16-year-old girl shot and killed early Sunday morning defied the mandatory “Stay Home, Work Safe” orders to honor the teen that they said had an amazing spirit.
Miranda Martinez died at the Rise Apartments in Balcones Heights.
Her classmates and parents organized a vigil right outside of IDEA Public School, where she attended.
“My mom came in telling me that Miranda had passed, and I had just woken up,” said one of her friends. “It didn’t hit me at first, but when I found out how she was taken, it just hurt. I couldn’t hold it in.”
Balcones Heights police said they were on a call when they heard gunshots coming from the apartment complex. When they arrived, they detained Eric Hernandez, 21, and Kevin Clark, 18, who were in a gunshot-riddled car and trying to leave at a high rate of speed, officials said.
Sadly, Martinez’s body was discovered later with a gunshot wound to the head.
“What was the reason? She was a kid,” said Madelyn Morin, one of Martinez's friends. “She barely turned 16 and didn’t even live a whole month with her new age. She was a baby still. She didn't get to live the life she wanted or become the doctor that she wanted to become and prove everyone wrong, to prove to everybody that she could be somebody.”
Friends and relatives said Martinez had a troubled family history and would live with close friends, like Ashton Salinas.
“I was going through a hard time in my life. Most of these people in this line were going through a hard time, and she was going through the worst of it," Salinas said. "She stuck her neck out for the best, even if it made her cry a little bit. She was there. She was my sister.”
Martinez was loved by many.
“I told my daughters, don’t feel bad,” said Debra Munoz, Martinez’s aunt. “She died knowing she was loved. She didn’t die not knowing anybody loved her because her cousins showed her love.”
The attendees of the vigil were all able to smile and enjoy memories of her personality.
“Miranda was an outgoing, funny, goofy person,” said Morin. “Always made the room light up. She was that person everyone wanted around. She had that amazing, happy spirit and made sure everyone she was around was happy.”
The group laughed, cried and celebrated Martinez's life with hugs, prayers and a balloon release.
Police said they still do not have enough evidence to charge the two men for Martinez’s death, but due to the guns and marijuana found in the car involved, Hernandez is facing a charge of unlawful carry of a weapon and possession of marijuana. Clark is facing unlawful carry of a weapon and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges.
“Actions have consequences big time, and even if you don’t realize it now, it is going to hit you later,” Salinas said. “You took a family member. You took a loved one, and it is hard.”