SHARE THIS STORY: On a 4-year-old's murder and the outrage over it
SAN ANTONIO —
If we share this story enough, we just might help police catch the killer of a 4-year-old boy.
And, who knows, if we share the story - and what it means - with our kids, we might also prevent another senseless tragedy.
ALL TOO FAMILIAR
Someone drove by and opened fire on a house on Hub Avenue on San Antonio's East Side late Wednesday night.
One of the bullets tore through the wall and hit the little boy, killing him as he slept. Police suspect it's gang-related, possibly an attempt at revenge for another shooting in the same neighborhood.
THE STORY AND THE OUTRAGE
Click on the video link. First you'll see reporter Ashlei King with the latest developments in the drive-by shooting death of 4-year-old D'Earlvion “Earl” Whitley.
Then you'll see the understandable outrage from a couple of our San Antonio leaders.
Like the people in one East Side neighborhood, they repeated 'Enough is enough."
THE CHIEF AND THE D.A.
"The question is what does it take to stop this?" asked San Antonio Police Chief William McManus. "There are people out there in this culture of gang violence who could give a crap less about anybody's life."
District Attorney Nico Lahood took the podium just after McManus Thursday as community leaders spoke at a nearby church.
"And like the Chief said, we say the same old things and we say the same old stuff. And that's the definition of insanity, doing the same things over and over again. And I recognize I'm in the house of the Lord. But if this doesn't piss you off, then nothing's going to."
GOOD PEOPLE, SCARED TO DEATH
And he's right. I was in that neighborhood Thursday night. And if you were just plunked down there and had no idea what had happened less than 24 hours before, you wouldn't think it's a 'bad neighborhood' by any means.
With modest, well-kept homes on a tree-lined street, there are young families, living side-by-side with retirees who've lived here for decades. Most are taking good care of their homes, and from the looks of it, their families too.
And there are at least five churches within a mile of the house where D'Earlvion was shot to death.
But after the shootings, people here are afraid of what's next. Afraid of even sleeping in their own homes.
SO... SHARE THIS
So - as Chief McManus said - What does it take to stop this?
First, we need to find this boy's killer. And maybe sharing this story will help do that.
As police will tell you, killers like this aren't very smart. And they usually talk. To somebody. Sooner or later.
I remember covering a similar case where the people in the 'drive-by' car went to a party after a shooting, got drunk and bragged that they had just 'blasted' a rival's house.
They hadn't realized yet that they actually hit the wrong house and killed a completely innocent woman.
They all got caught within a few days and today, years later, they're all in jail.
I suspect they're all wishing someone had shared a story like this with them when they were younger - and warned them how stories like this often end.
With somebody dead. Countless people suffering a tragic loss. And whoever did it - in jail or dead.
And these stories usually start years before - when a kid just starts hanging out with the wrong people.
Sharing that - and the outrage over this 4-year-old's death - may not help much.
But we have to try. Whatever we're doing now isn't enough.