A year after a 12-year-old boy was killed by a stray bullet in the Skyline neighborhood on Thanksgiving, the case is still a mystery.
Who fired the round and where exactly it was fired from remain unanswered questions, but San Diego detectives are determined to find the answers.
With little to go on, police and the family of Angel Domingo Gaspar Gallegos last week called on anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.
“I just want somebody to say something — just, you know, speak up,” said Eva Gaspar, one of the boy’s aunts. “He was just a kid.”
Maria Gaspar, another aunt, added: “It could have been anyone’s kid.”
Angel was in his family’s backyard with several cousins when the bullet pierced a fence and struck him about 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 25, 2021. He collapsed.
Eva Gaspar, who was outside with the children, rushed to Angel’s side. No one really knew what had happened until paramedics arrived and realized the boy’s injury was a gunshot wound.
Angel was taken to a hospital, where he died.
Police later determined the bullet came from the east and that it was fired from a distance, but little else is known, homicide Lt. Jud Campbell said. However, the investigation is “active,” meaning detectives continue to work to find ways to crack the case, he said.
“We owe it to Angel to be tenacious,” Campbell said.
The lieutenant said police recovered the bullet and have followed up on leads. He said some leads were generated thanks to Angel’s family, who several times walked around the neighborhood and asked anyone with information to come forward with tips.
“Everything we have, we’re looking at not once, not twice … but five times,” Campbell said.
Campbell and Angel’s family hope anyone who has silently carried on with information will finally speak up and bring a sense of closure to the family.
“It’s been a long, long, long year,” Maria Gaspar said. “To us, it’s as if it happened yesterday.”
Eva Gaspar said her 6-year-old son asks if there is anything that can be done to bring his cousin back. “I don’t think it’s hit that when you’re gone, you’re gone,” she said.
Other times her son asks to visit Angel’s grave. On those days, they pick up lunch and set up a picnic near Angel.
This past Thanksgiving, Angel’s parents and siblings — his sister and brother, 9 and 12, respectively — opted out of a traditional gathering. Instead they traveled to San Francisco and Yosemite in honor of Angel, who enjoyed visiting new places. The family brought along a Build-A-Bear Workshop bear that plays a recording of a voice saying Angel’s name and singing a song Angel used to sing to his mother.
Anyone with information about the case was asked to call San Diego police at (619) 531-2293 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. Visit the Crime Stoppers website at sdcrimestoppers.org for information about how to send anonymous tips online and via a mobile app.