‘You are a coward’: Mother of young father gunned down seeks answers, justice

‘Ray’ was a gentle giant, excited about having his first child. He was killed a month before his son’s birth, mother says

A San Antonio mother is devastated that her newly born grandson has to live fatherless after his dad was gunned down in his Northeast Side apartment.

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio mother is devastated that her newly born grandson has to live fatherless after his dad was gunned down in his Northeast Side apartment.

Tamika Lee is the mother of Raymond Ray Sneed, 25.

San Antonio police said Sneed was found shot to death inside his apartment at the Alamo Estates Apartments on Midcrown Drive.

The news has devastated everyone who knew Sneed.

“He went by Ray, or Ray Ray, but when I went to his apartment to see what happened, people were coming up to me asking why I was at Mac’s home,” Lee said. “I was like, ‘Who is that?’ I then remembered he must have been going by Mac because he father called him Macaroni when he was born.”

“While I was standing outside the apartment waiting for police to tell me what was going on, and when people realized I was his mother, I had several come up and introduce themselves to me to let me know how much my kid touched them. He was more than a friend to everyone. He was a brother,” Lee continued.

Growing up, Lee said Sneed was a laid back kid who was very easy going and funny.

“He was guaranteed to get a smile out of someone in his presence,” she said. “He was all about making jokes and being funny but he was very respectful, which is something I didn’t have to teach him. It was natural for him. He was a gentleman. He always aimed to put a smile on someone’s face.”

Lee said Sneed loved his family and taking care of his grandmother and his aunt. He also loved being at home and cooking.

“He was just a considerate person,” she said. “I would work long hours and he would call and ask when I was coming home. And every time I get home, he would have dinner prepared. That was his passion. It wasn’t just that he knew how to cook, but he was all about presentation.”

Lee said while she was at the scene, she also learned Sneed had been taking care of an elderly woman that he knew.

“So many people were coming up to me telling me how Ray did a lot for her,” Lee said. “They were like, ‘Whatever she needed, he would help her.”

Lee remembered the last time she saw her son.

“He had came over and he asked for a picture of his ‘memaw’ and Aunt Jan, and I asked him what for,” Lee said. “He said he wanted to get them tattooed on him. But then, on his way out, he said and, ‘I am going to move.’ I said, ‘Great! Bring me your lease, and I will get you out of it and will pay all the fees. Just move.’ I never was comfortable with where he was staying, but he would always say, ‘I am good mom. I don’t mess with anyone.’”

Lee said her son was a loner and he loved being at home alone.

“He had friends and associates, but you could ask any of his cousins and closest people, he rarely invited anyone over. And when he did, it was because he trusted them,” Lee said. “He was never out in the streets or having a bunch of dudes in the car with him. He just loved being at home, cooking, laughing it up and watching TV. That is what brought me comfort.”

“I wasn’t worried about him, I was worried about those who lived in that area. I never would have thought someone would walk into his home and murder my child. It just doesn’t make any sense to me,” she continued.

Lee said she was heartbroken when detectives confirmed that it was her son that had been killed.

“I still couldn’t process what was going on,” she said as she wept. “How could a 25-year-old not wake up? I kept begging them to let me see my baby, hoping that maybe he lent his apartment to someone else. But it couldn’t have been my baby.”

Lee believes the suspected killer knew her son.

“There was no forced entry into his apartment,” Lee said. “For my son to have invited you into his home, he had to trust you. That is the part that makes me angry. What kind of coward kills someone like this? My son trusted this person. I don’t even want to know why it was done. There is no reason in the world that this should have happened. I just want to know who.”

Sneed was killed July 1 which was 10 days prior to the day the planned to have his baby shower.

“Instead, July 11, I buried my son,” Lee said as she wept. “How did I go from planning a baby show to burying my son! How does that happen! This is so backwards. His kids are supposed to be the ones to bury him…not his mother.”

August 10, 2021, Bishop Rayshawn Sneed was born.

Sadly he never got the chance to be held by his father.

“He had so many plans,” Sneed said. “A lot was supposed to happen that weekend preparing for the arrival of his son but he just didn’t get there. I was anticipating this time next year to see the man that he was evolving into. As a kid, he always talked about how he was going to be as a dad. He and his girlfriend and Bishop’s mother, Dominique West, planned to have the healthiest environment for their their son and someone took that from them. I was preparing to watch my son watch his son for the first time. Someone took that from him and made my grandson a statistic before he even got the chance to know his father or before my son got the chance to meet his son.”

West is also heartbroken knowing she is without the love her life. She released this statement:

“Raymond may have been big as a giant but his heart was even bigger. Ray had a heart of Pure gold. He always wanted to make sure everyone was good. He was the goofiest person I’ve ever met. There was ALWAYS a reason to laugh. He always lit up the room when he walked in. You can ask anyone who had any encounter with ray. He was definitely the definition of Raymond, which means counseling protector. The precious baby boy he left us with will forever be bittersweet to me. I will forever have a piece of my best friend. I will forever love him just for the love he poured out which to me is a special type of love. You won’t find that type of love just anywhere. #EverybodyLovesRaymond”

His mother had this to say to the suspect still at large.

“You are a coward,” Lee said. “You are a coward and I know this is eating at you. I am not going to be like a lot of parents and say, ‘I forgive you’ because I don’t. This is between you and God. You will be haunted by this. The only thing I could thank the cowards for is that all my son knows is that he woke up in heaven.”

She added that the gun violence needs to stop.

“This is not a rare care but this is a sad case,” Lee said. “This happens way to often. When I look on the news, my heart goes out to those families but now, I never thought I would be one of those grieving mothers. This community needs to speak up and say something. Like the many families this has impacted, I am looking for peace because I am not just carrying around the fact that I lost my son. It is the manner that I lost him and it is the fact that this person is still out there…if this person easily took my son’s life, what makes you think that you are not next.”

Police put a Crimestoppers reward up to help catch Sneed’s killer.

If you have any information, you are urged to call Crimestoppers at (210)224-STOP.

About the Authors:

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