Shooting during MLK Day celebration on East Side won’t spoil future events, Santa’s Place organizers say

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police are looking for a shooting suspect that fired several shots into a crowd celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the East Side on Monday night.

For more than 20 years, Eugene Thompson has been hosting a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on the parking lot of Santa’s Place on Spriggsdale Boulevard. It’s always been a fun, family event. On Monday, however, a random shooting ruined that streak.

“I would never expect that, especially yesterday, for what it means or what it meant, what the man [King] died for. And you know, we’re doing it to ourselves,” Thompson said.

His daughter, LaToya Thompson, was in the bar and said she came out after hearing the shots.

“We just heard the ‘pop, pop, pop,’” she said. “When we opened up the door, everyone crawled in.”

LaToya Thompson said the crowd was filled with 30 to 60 people of all ages, including children. She’s upset that someone would bring violence to an event meant to bring unity.

“I just wish we could get along. The violence has to stop. Innocent bystanders got hit for no reason,” she said.

Five people were injured, two of them seriously.

The organizers say they can’t make sense of what happened, but they’re hoping the shooter gets caught. Eugene Thompson said this random act of violence would not stop any future events.

“We’re not going to let no one bad apple spoil the goodness,” he said.

About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Recommended Videos