S.A. women show support for human smuggling case victims

The Associated Press is reporting that 17 of the 38 people found in a hot semi-trailer in a Walmart parking lot Sunday are now facing life-threatening injuries.

SAN ANTONIO - Two women showed their support for the victims and survivors of the human smuggling incident at the southwest side Walmart.

Betty Gilbert and Gina Blackfeather brought flowers, balloons and teddy bears. They laid the gifts at a nearby tree in the parking lot.

"To think what those people went through in back of that trailer and the desperation. It's just very hurtful," Gilbert said. "We're all humans. We need more love and more compassion."

"This is not anything about politics. These are people who were just trying to make a better life and it went wrong. Hopefully, people will stop doing this. You know, yesterday was 104 degrees," Blackfeather said. "I think about the suffering of these people and at that point, there's no room for anything up but mercy. At that point its nothing else."

Around 12:30 a.m., San Antonio police said a Walmart employee alerted them after a victim asked for water.

Officers said when they arrived to the Walmart on the I-35 and Highway 16, they discovered 38 people inside a semi-trailer. They found another person in a nearby wooded area. Police said eight men died inside and a 9th man later, died at a hospital.

"Our paramedics and firefighters found that each one of them had heart rates over 130 beats per minute which again, they were hot to the touch. These people were in that trailer without any signs of any type of water. You're looking at a lot of heat stroke, a lot of dehydration," Charles Hood, San Antonio Fire Department chief said.

Federal agents said while 38 people were discovered inside the trailer, there may have been more than 100 packed inside the trailer. San Antonio police chief William McManus said surveillance video showed vehicles picking up people from the semi.

"Anybody who sees anything like this, people being transferred out of the back of a trailer or transferred some vehicle, they need to call 911," McManus said.

The driver of the semi-trailer, 60-year-old James Matthew Bradley Jr. from Clearwater Florida, was taken into custody. The investigation is being led by the Department of Homeland Security.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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