Police have arrested four unnamed men in connection with a Texas drive-by shooting that killed a 4-year-old boy and injured his mother, according to San Antonio Express-News.
Investigators say gunmen pulled up to the home of Cyntwanisha Whitley, 29, on Wednesday night and let loose a hail of gunfire, more than 50 bullets, murdering 4-year-old De-earlvion Whitley in his sleep and piercing his mother twice in the leg.
San Antonio Express-News has also reported that neighbors heard the shooting and called 911, noting that Whitley was screaming “My baby! My baby!” and “Why didn’t you take me?”
The 29-year-old is recovering from her injuries and took to Facebook to thank family and friends for supporting her through these tragic circumstances.
Let's be clear WE (Meaning his mother and Father and Brothers) Do NOT want retaliation WE WANT JUSTICE BECAUSE WE CANT…
“My baby didn’t deserve this,” she wrote. “I will stand with the men in blue. These men fought to keep my baby.”
She also spoke to KSAT, describing the shooting in harrowing detail.
“You could hear them (bullets) passing by your ear as you were just sitting there. Before you could even say get down, you just hear (gunfire) like what is that? Is this real?” Whitley said.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said the shooting is likely gang-related, noting that the four men placed under arrest were in two separate cars, both “loaded with guns and ammunition.”
“The gang activity, or at least what we believe to be gang activity, is starting up again on the East Side in a small area,” he said during a press conference. “We don’t know whether this is inter-gang, gang versus gang or an individual issue with gang ties.”
However, McManus has not noted if the men are actual suspects in the drive-by shooting, or if they were involved in another of the city’s gang-related incidents, suggesting they may have been headed to avenge the death of the little boy. He also has not given any indication as to why the Whitley household was targeted.
The city’s mayor has even issued a statement on the murder of 4-year-old De-earlvion Whitley.
“Senseless violence is always tragic. It is even more heartbreaking when an innocent child is the victim,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “The apparent gang-related shooting on Hub Avenue is an act that will not be tolerated in San Antonio.”
As police conduct their investigation, family and friends gathered on Friday to mourn the boy’s death, holding a number of solemn vigils.
De-earlvion Whitley’s grandfather, Brett William O’Connor, spoke to reporters at one of these vigils, candidly expressing his grief.
“It saddens me that the streets have come to the point where innocent children are being killed in their sleep,” he said. “The family is saddened by the loss of Little Earl. At this moment, we’re just trying to piece our lives back together, which is going to take a long time.”
The family has posted a GoFundMe to raise money for funeral expenses. Cyntwanisha Whitley has another child, 7, who was not injured during the attack.
[Featured Image: YouTube/screenshot]