Just one day after two small kids were caught in gang crossfire and shot, San Antonio police have made no arrests.
Two men taken in for questioning Tuesday night were not charged in connection with the attack that left a 7-year-old with a bullet wound to the face. A 3-year-old was treated on scene for a graze wound to the head.
The shootout happened at the Palms apartment complex on the 3700 block of East Commerce, where lots of kids were outside playing basketball.
On Wednesday morning, as kids boarded the school bus at daybreak, mothers held their children a little closer than normal and talked about the terror of the night before.
The women didn’t want to be identified but they spoke about their fears.
“There was a lot of kids out here!” one mother said.
Another mother said that when the shooting started, she stood paralyzed by fear and had trouble reacting as bullets flew.
"I just stood there like, 'Come on! Come on! Come on!' It's just crazy because kids were running everywhere trying to get home to their parents," she recalled.
The mothers say that their children are living in a war zone.
"We live in the front and the people that live behind us, shooting and shooting and shooting," one mother said.
Another woman said that her kids weren’t able to sleep and that they were crying and vomiting, sick from the anxiety and stress of seeing their friends injured.
San Antonio police have been called to the beleaguered complex nearly 300 times in the last six months, but people say that the trouble continues in spite of all the police activity.
A church group does outreach work in the complex, walking, talking, and praying for peace, hoping for divine intervention where all else has failed.
Most of the kids who live at the Palms attend nearby Cameron Elementary, and the school district is responding to the trauma suffered by the children with a counseling team.
San Antonio Independent School District spokesman Leslie Price released the following statement:
“We are saddened by acts of violence in our communities, especially when it affects children and our students.
In response to last night’s incident, this morning we mobilized a crisis team to provide support: with counselors reaching out to students, a social worker reaching out to the family, a police officer’s presence to help reassure those who may be fearful, and additional school and district administration to provide resources and assistance as needed.
We are here for our students and our community.”
And on a related note about safety, the Palms apartment complex has two entry gates but one of them is padlocked at all times.
The San Antonio Fire Department is planning to visit the site and investigate possible code violations after some residents said that they are afraid they will not be able to escape from the complex when they need to.
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