Mother of son killed during ambush raises awareness about resources needed for troubled teens

“There is just not enough resources here in San Antonio...”

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio mother is using the pain of losing her son to gun violence to raise awareness about the need for more resources centered around young people.

Carol Falcon said before the death of her son, Darnilio Garza, 17, she tried to help him stay out of trouble.

“It was tough raising him as a single parent,” Falcon said. “He suffered from bipolar and ADHD. I feel like the community resources we have here weren’t doing enough, like with the counseling and things. It didn’t meet his expectations. There should be more support systems for single moms going through this type of thing with kids with bipolar or ADHD or are troubled. I think there should be more resources for that.”

She said when the pandemic struck, things went south for Darnilio Garza.

“He didn’t have a job and he was getting nervous and anxious,” Falcon said. “He was just going around trying to make a living to be independent on his own. I would call so many places asking for help and he was just not getting the help he should have gotten.”

Falcon said despite the issues, her son did have a great personality.

“Darnilio was just very hyper and loving, loud,” she laughed. “We just went through a lot. He went through a lot, especially when he was a boy.”

She said his father dying from gun violence eight years ago also sent him on a negative path, but he was trying to get better.

“There is just not enough resources here in San Antonio,” Falcon said. “Especially for young guys. Instead of them being in the streets or they are fatherless. There should be something out here in San Antonio so we can get these kids involved and off the street. When their dad died, I tried to do the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program and they accepted one of my daughters,but they didn’t take Darnilio or his other sister.”

Sadly, while at work, Falcon would learn that her son would also die from gun violence.

The shooting happened July 31 outside of her home in the 7600 block of McCullough Avenue.

“We were having a good night watching a movie,” said Jadzia Garza, his sister. “He got us some McDonald’s and he told me he and Jasmine were going to go outside to hang out. I went in my room and about 30 minutes later, I hear like two or three gunshots. I didn’t get scared at first because I’ve heard gunshots before like that but then I started hearing Jasmine screaming.”

Jadzia Garza said when she went outside, her heart sank.

“She was telling me what happened, and I looked over there and saw him laying down,” she said as she broke into tears. “It just hurts me because I never thought I would have ever seen him like that.”

San Antonio police said Darnilio Garza and Gomez were going to meet some people he knew when someone ambushed him and shot him in the head.

“I just kept telling my brother who was a strong man that he was going to be okay,” Jadzia Garza said. “After our dad passed, I looked at him like he was my dad because he always took care of us.”

“We called the ambulance first and instead they sent a cop car,” Gomez said through tears. “Why would they send a cop car? My boyfriend could have been saved. They were just moving so slow and I couldn’t stop screaming at them. They just make murders seem like it is a normal thing, and it shouldn’t be that way.”

Falcon added that she feels they are going unheard.

“I think our children are influenced by things on social media,” Falcon said. “Who knows what was going on. Was it revenge? We don’t know. We don’t know anything. The police keep saying, ‘We will call you if there is an arrest.’ We should at least get more than that. Them showing us, you are not alone and that there are all these other mothers going through this. It just feels like they are sweeping my son under the rug as if he doesn’t matter. I think if he was white or black, then more action would be taken right now but because he is a Hispanic boy, I think they are just acting like there are other important cases to worry about. At the end of the day, he is a human just like the other big names we see on the news right now in need of justice.”

She said she will forever be her son’s voice.

“Like Black Lives Matter, 17-year-olds matter,” Falcon said. “Everyone matters! They should make a big deal about every human that is killed by gun violence. Turn the tables around, and you would want your child’s voice to be heard. It is ridiculous and it is insane. It’s every day or every week and nothing but 17- 18-year-olds. And then it is gun violence or robbing and stealing. Ok, what is it driving these kids to that?”

Her mission is to help other families cope with similar situations like the one she is in while demanding law enforcement be more considerate of the families on the other end of these cases.

The family is also asking anyone with any information that could help investigators solve this case to contact the homicide unit anonymously at 210-207-7635.

“Yea, I forgive him,” Falcon said about her son’s killer. “I forgive them because that is the only way I can have peace, but I believe that there should be justice served. You just don’t get to something like that without justice being served.”

RELATED: Teen fatally shot in apparent ambush outside home, San Antonio police say

About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray joined 10 News as an anchor in March 2022.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.