Mother of innocent shooting victim rallying community to end gun violence

SAN ANTONIO – Alaina Henderson, 27, was out celebrating a new job at a Hollywood Park restaurant on Sept. 11, 2022, when she became an innocent bystander of gun violence.

Henderson’s mother, Denmica Eugene, describes her as bright, beautiful and a leader.

The law degree graduate had goals to help people who are in prison. Instead, her mother is now leading the revolution to change the status quo of gun violence in America.

“These are our children. This is our next generation. And raising babies right now, and they have to walk -- the anxiety that the children are having going to school. I’m praying that we can make a safer community, safer environment,” Eugene said.

Eugene said she grew up with gun violence around her, but it wasn’t until it claimed the life of her oldest child that she realized she needed to do something. Now, she’s hoping others will join her quest.

“Don’t wait. Don’t wait ‘til they come knocking on your door because this is -- it’s knocking, and it’s aggressive,” she said. “I choose to fight. I choose to fight for the children, other families, advocating on their behalf and making sure that we push this forward as hard and fast as we can because we have to fix this.”

Eugene will be joining a group of local organizations during the National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange weekend. The event is on June 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Phillis Wheatley Park, 723 Arthur Street. People are encouraged to wear the color orange.

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.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.