SAN ANTONIO -- They called him 'Little Joe,' and the story of how the Gonzales family came to find him dead at the corner of Live Oak and Dorie streets is exceptionally sad.
It's also exceptionally important because far too many people are being shot and shot dead in this community.
At KENS 5 for the past several months we've been working on a special project: Collaborative Online Reporting Effort, or CORE.
In the CORE section, there are stories about this important topic, and we invite you to watch them and think about ways you might become engaged in creating new solutions.
These stories are important for Little Joe, and all the other victims who can no longer tell their own stories.
The moment everything changed
The phone call that changed everything for Joe Gonzales and his family came just before noon when a friend called and told him his son had been shot.
He raced to the corner of Lone Oak and Dorie hoping his son was only injured. But Javance Lamar Gonzales, Junior did not survive the attack.
The shock that the shot was fatal was painful.
Gonzales' anguished cries filled the street.
Moments later, the victim's grandmother learned the awful truth.
"My grandson rides a bicycle all the time. Please Lord, let that not be my grandson." said Deloris Sheppard.
She called to her son, inside the crime scene perimeter, "Is that Little Joe?"
When they confirmed her worst fear, she cried as her friends tried to comfort her.
"Oh no!" she said, "He must have been on his way up to my house!"
While police processed evidence, and neighbors caught behind crime tape worried about their own, the Gonzales family struggled to make sense of the senseless.
"This has to stop," he said, "Not my son!"
The young man's grandmother turned immediately to prayer.
"Bless us all Lord Jesus. Touch us. Make this neighborhood and everybody in it whole Lord Jesus," she said.
"Correct everything that's wrong Lord Jesus. Let us know about you, that you are the giver and you are the taker. Lord, please touch everyone that's gathered around here," she said.
Gonzales said less than 24 hours before his son died, he had been nearby, at church, praying for the victim of another neighborhood shooting.
"Oh man, I'm sick of this. It's got to stop. Just last night all this shooting was going on. After church, I talked to my pastor. I said, 'Man, we've got to do something." I'm a deacon at that church. I've been doing the right thing. I guarantee this stuff is going to stop," Gonzales said.