‘My worst nightmare came to reality’: Mother of woman killed in Castle Hills shooting seeks answers

D’Yani Thomas, 19, was one of three young women shot inside car near Blanco Road and Loop 410

The mother of one of two women killed in a shooting in Castle Hills says has no idea why someone would do this to her daughter and her friends.

SAN ANTONIO – The mother of a 19-year-old woman shot to death in Castle Hills on Sunday morning is speaking out about her daughter’s death and pleading with the public to help police find the person or people responsible.

Valerie Thomas said her daughter, D’Yani Thomas, was celebrating her graduation with two friends when the car they were in was shot at dozens of times on the access road near Blanco Road and Loop 410.

Thomas and one of her best friends, Kennedi Braziel, 18, died shortly after the shooting.

“About five in the morning, I heard about it, but I didn’t know what condition she was in,” said Valerie Thomas. “My worst nightmare came to reality.”

Another young woman was in the car with D’Yani Thomas and Braziel when the shooting happened. That victim has been listed in critical condition.

Castle Hills police said they recovered more than 50 shell casings from the scene and described the shooting as a senseless and violent act.

“That was overkill for my daughter and her friends, something those young ladies did not deserve. They were all 18, 19. They were all ready to start their new lives as adults,” said Valerie Thomas.

Valerie Thomas said she moved her family out of San Antonio primarily because of gun violence in their area. Her daughter had returned to San Antonio recently to finish school and get her diploma.

“She had dreams of going to the Air Force. She was just a beautiful, happy, loving person,” said Thomas. “She wanted to do it for her children. She wanted to do it for me. I spoke with her, one of her counselors, and they said that they were all hurt. All the teachers were upset.”

D’Yani Thomas leaves behind a young daughter and an infant son.

“I’m going to let them know how much she loved them. I’m going to let them know that she was taking steps to secure their future,” said Valerie Thomas.

Valerie Thomas said she did not “have any answers” and was “racking my brain” thinking about what occurred and who would do this.

“I just don’t know what she could have possibly done to hurt somebody’s feelings to make them do that to her,” she said.

Valerie Thomas is asking for the public’s help to solve the case.

“(D’Yani) didn’t put her hands on anybody. There’s no trace of violence that they can that can add up to the amount of bullets put in the car,” Valerie Thomas said. “(D’Yani) was a happy person. She was lovable. She loved her children, her older sisters and brothers. We all wanted to just be happy and safe.”

The shooting remains under investigation, and police had not released any information on possible suspects as of Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s just heartbreaking and devastating to have to set up arrangements for your own children,” said Valerie Thomas.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Castle Hills Police Department at 210-342-2341.

About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.