Desperate to find out whose errant shot struck and killed a 12-year-old boy on Thanksgiving, a volunteer group went door-to-door in Skyline hoping to find out where the lethal bullet was fired from.
Members of Mothers With a Message, a San Diego anti-gun violence community group, set out for answers Wednesday night inspired by the words of Angel Gallegos’ aunt Maria Gaspar Casillas.
“Nothing that they can do is going to bring Angel back, but getting justice for Angel will bring us a little bit of peace,” Gaspar Casillas said.
The group visited each home in the surrounding neighborhood and left flyers at every open and closed door. They are hoping to jog a memory or draw out a witness who knows something about the Thanksgiving night shooting.
Angel was laid to rest on Tuesday, 12 days after he was shot in his own backyard.
“Still heartbroken, still waiting for answers,” Gaspar Casillas said.
San Diego Police Department investigators say the shot was fired around 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 25. The bullet came from up Cahill Drive, east of the home, through a fence and hit Angel in the back. His 11-year-old brother Gabriel ran inside where the rest of the family was celebrating.
“He’s so strong, and he said, ‘My brother is hurt.’ At that time everything happened so fast,” Gaspar Casillas remembered.
Wednesday’s door-knocking campaign coincided with a visit from District Attorney Summer Stephan, who reassured the family that all available resources will be committed to Angel’s case. She did not, however, say if investigators had any new leads.
“We don’t know what it is going to be yet, and I am not ready to talk about it, but we will search and search until we get the answer,” Stephan said.
Behind the district attorney came San Diego police detectives who were in the next-door neighbor’s back yard and speaking with Angel’s mother. Angel’s parents, brother and sister have been living at Gaspar Casillas’ home for just the last four weeks. Coincidently, the neighbor across the street, Matt Sanchez, was Angel’s soccer coach when Angel was 6 years old. Sanchez’s son was also on the team.
“It’s really hard to imagine what the family is going through,” Sanchez said. “Our hearts go out to them. Our family’s hearts go out to them. It’s really a difficult situation.”
Angel’s aunt said he lived up to his name. He loved football, video games, he was a good student and enjoyed school. He did everything you could want from a 12-year-old and now the family has a last request.
“That someone comes forward, that someone helps us get justice for Angel,” Gaspar Casillas pleaded.
Stephan said someone from her office has already been assigned to the case and is working with investigators.
“We lost a 12-year-old at Thanksgiving. There is no bigger loss to the community,” she said.