The mother of a 13-year-old who San Antonio Police shot and killed on Friday wants answers.
The family identified AJ Hernandez as the boy killed on the south side early Friday morning after police say they were called to the 5100 block of War Cloud Drive for a shots fired call.
When police arrived, they say Hernandez was driving a stolen vehicle when he reversed and T-boned a police car.
Hernandez’s mother Lynda Espinoza says accounts from eyewitnesses don’t add up to what police said about the shooting.
Espinoza says she and her family moved to the neighborhood four years ago. AJ was the sixth child out of 10, and one she loved dearly.
“AJ was a good loving brother, big smile, he was very happy, very funny, he loved looking at himself in the mirror, his hair,” Espinoza recalled.
Her son’s death comes at an already difficult time for the single mom and her younger children.
Last month—Lynda’s daughter Nevaeh Martinez was killed in a shooting on War Horse Street.
Nearby in the 5100 block of War Cloud Drive is where a San Antonio Police officer shot and killed AJ.
SAPD said officers responded to the area for a shots fired call and tried to stop a vehicle that was reported stolen.
As officers tried to stop the car—they say the 13-year-old backed into a police car.
“There was another police vehicle coming in the opposite direction. The officer had gotten out of the car just prior to the police vehicle being T-boned, and he fired into the red vehicle striking the driver,” SAPD Chief McManus said on Friday following the shooting.
Espinoza heard from eyewitnesses that AJ and two other juveniles who were in the car surrendered.
“I want justice for him, there was no reason for him to shoot a 13-year-old,” Espinoza said. She also claims her son was handcuffed after he was shot.
In a statement, SAPD claims the second officer feared the other officer would be stuck by the suspect vehicle.
According to an affidavit obtained by KENS 5—Hernandez was arrested in a smuggling case in April. Hernandez and another juvenile were arrested in Kinney County after police chased the two in their vehicle. Authorities said seven undocumented migrants were found lying down in the car.
Espinoza says it’s irrelevant to her son dying. She says AJ was taking the death of his sister hard.
“He had struggled a little because the kids he would be out here with, but I try to keep my kids inside, do what a parent is supposed to do,” Espinoza said.
Espinoza is asking SAPD to release the bodycam video—but in her heart, she’s grieving.
“Make sure to tell [your kids] every day that you love them, you don’t know it’ll be the last day you see your kids,” she said.
According to SAPD, the officer involved is being placed on administrative duty until further notice.
SAPD claims because of the victim’s age, they are prohibited by law to release any video or reports associated with the incident.