San Antonio – Family and friends rallied together to raise thousands of dollars for a mother of four who was shot and killed during a South Side standoff last week.
Sunday, they held a plate sale in her honor which is one of many ways they’ve raised funds to help support her family during this tragic time.
People shared happy memories of Neida Tijerina.
“She was very happy,” said Loy Gonzales, one of her close friends. “She was never sad and never mad. Even if she was, laughter would come out of it. She would always brighten your day. Whenever you were with her, you knew you were going to have a good time.”
“She was so loud,” said Clarissa Reyna, a childhood friend. “Nobody else could match her energy. She was different.”
They said she loved to live life to the fullest but there was nothing she loved more than her four children.
“Her children always came first,” Gonzales said. “No matter if you were just handing out or at a family party. Her main focus was always her children which is what makes this situation so sad.”
While San Antonio police were negotiating with Angel Sanchez, Tijerina’s common law husband who was holding her and three of her children hostage, police ended up opening fire on Sanchez after he pointed his rifle at them.
Sadly, Tijerina was later found inside unresponsive with a gunshot wound.
“The Bexar County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy this morning. While they cannot yet conclusively state that she died as a result of the officers firing on the suspect, physical evidence appears to support that conclusion,” said Chief William McManus.
The family says they are not mad at police.
“My stomach hurts just thinking about it,” said Reyna. “I blame him. I don’t want to say anything ugly but, in my head,, it is him. I don’t blame police. It’s his fault. I never expected him to go that far.”
“He has devastated a lot of us,” said Gonzales speaking about Sanchez. “He has caused a lot of sadness and now those babies are going to have to deal with this for the rest of their lives over something so irresponsible, unnecessary and just a dumb situation.”
Now, the family said they hope their loved one’s story reminds others who may be in domestic violent situations that there is help out there.
“It is just important to do your part and watch out for your friends, family members,” Gonzales said. “Unfortunately, it happened to her, but her story is going to make a powerful impact.”