Families carry grief along with memories of shooting victims

Sodelva Lopez goes to the San Fernando Cemetery in San Antonio every day to visit her son's grave. William Arthur Lopez was shot and killed in the summer of 2011. The 22-year-old was with a friend who was in a fight at a bar that eventually spilled into the streets.

"A part of me is gone forever, and my heart's broken," Lopez said. "I'm broken my whole family, my son, his sister, we'll never be the same."

For many mothers dealing with losing a loved one involves becoming an advocate for change. Along the way, they meet other women who understand the pain. One of the women Lopez has met is Janie Esparza.

At every corner of Esparza's home is a picture of her son, Isaac Orosco. On July 28, 2016, 20-year-old Isaac Orosco was shot and killed by someone inside of a car. The shooting took place outside their apartment, where Esparza can't bear to live anymore.

"My son did not deserve to die like this way. My son deserved to have a life he deserved to join the Marines, he deserved to have kids, get married, have a future." Esparza said. "All my future is gone, as well, because that was my only child. I'm never going to hear the words mom again. I'm never going to have grandkids my whole life has been taken from me in a split second for senseless stupidity, you know?" 

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Lori Rocha avoids driving down Huebner Road in San Antonio, because it’s where her son Aaron Rocha was fatally shot last November. Police say around 2:30 a.m., Rocha was killed as a passenger in a car. Investigators call it a senseless act of “road rage.”

“If it could happen to him, none of us are immune to this gun violence,” Rocha said. “It can happen to any of us driving on this road where it happened.”

Rocha, 25, did not get a chance yet to become a father but others were. 

Sheryl Hysaw says her son, Derrick Ray Johnson, is buried at the Eastview Cemetery in San Antonio. But there's no official record that he was buried there. After a change of ownership, his grave location has not been found.  While her family can’t have a memorial like most, Hysaw is dedicated to activism. Johnson was shot and killed inside of his home on March 28, 2009 after a confrontation with his girlfriend and her relatives.

“God did not allow any of this to come my way to defeat me but to allow me to be able to go tell somebody else how it feels for people to take guns and kill folks, family members, loved ones,” Hysaw said. 

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