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A New Year's Eve tragedy: A father tells his story

Father of an 11-year-old killed by random fire New Year's Day morning says his calls to 911 were never returned, and he was detained from going to the emergency room by CCPD
Posted at 5:09 PM, Jan 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 13:59:58-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Four days ago, just seconds after watching fireworks and welcoming in the New year with her family, an 11-year-old girl was struck and killed by a random stray bullet.

Andy Liscano met her father and other family members yesterday, and tonight, the family relives what happened in the moments immediately after Amethyst was struck by celebratory gunfire.

"Look. This is my baby," said Robert Silva.

The pain and grief Robert Silva and his family are feeling as they look at a picture of young Amethyst may never go away.

He and his wife have lost a daughter. Her siblings have lost a sister.

"I cannot sleep. I can't eat. I replay this over and over and over in my head. I don't know what to do," Robert told us.

Silva agreed to share his recollection of what happened that morning while his family watched fireworks together outside their home, just seconds into New Year's Day.

The nightmare began once they realized Amethyst had been shot.

"We called 911 twice. Two times, no answer. No call back the first time. Called again, my wife called again. Second time, no answer. No call back. All night, we didn't get a call back," said Silva.

Crucial seconds were being wasted waiting, so Silva made a decision.

"I had to take her to the hospital myself," he recalled.

Desperate to find help, every second crucial, Silva says he first drove to Fire Station 6 on Weber near Saratoga.

"I went in hoping there was somebody in there. I went in there yelling help! Help! Somebody! I need help," said Silva.

While his wife was in the car doing everything she could to keep their daughter alive, Silva says he then drove on toward Spohn South Hospital.

But as Silva approached Spohn South Hospital, his car died, and more crucial seconds were wasted.

"I'm outside. I'm trying to wave people down until somebody finally stops. Two angels stopped to save my baby. They get her into the car, and they take her," said Silva.

To the family's best recollection, one of those angels was Esperanza Alonzo. The family says they will be forever thankful to her.

That's when Silva remembers a CCPD officer pulling up next to his disabled car.

"They ask my name. Take my name down. I'm telling them that my baby just got shot. They asked me what I was doing out here, and I told them, and they put me in the back of a cop car," where he told KRIS 6 News he stayed for more than 30 minutes.

Silva further told us the CCPD officer told him he was not being arrested for anything, yet according to Silva, the officer never gave him a reason why he was being detained.

Once in the hospital, he spent more anxious moments waiting for any news on Amethyst.

Finally, hours later, Silva learned his daughter had passed.

"I didn't know my baby had an exit wound to the chest. That girl who helped us did because the cops were there discussing it in front of her. She goes, 'I'm sorry your baby had a gunshot wound to the chest.' And I was like, what," recalls Silva.

Again, the family wants to express their heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Esperanza Alonzo, the 'angel' who stopped to help.

We have filed several public information requests with various local agencies to learn more details about this incident.

As soon as we can share more information with you, we will.