The protest of a mother who lost her daughter to an act of violence came back to downtown Del Rio Tuesday morning, across from the Val Verde Judicial Center, where she was accompanied by some of her late daughter’s children.
Rosemary Gutierrez, the mother of Amanda Riojas, 27, who passed away on April 26 victim of a gunshot wound to the face in the city’s south side, said her protest is gaining steam, and she has been encouraged by her grandchildren to continue on.
Gutierrez and some family members were Tuesday morning at the intersection of West Broadway and South Main, holding signs and asking drivers passing by to “honk for justice.”
Gutierrez said the release of Robert Evans, Jr., 26, who was arrested on April 26 and bonded out of jail on July 31, represents a risk for the community of Del Rio, given the violent nature of the crime he is being accused of.
“What are they waiting for? To murder somebody else? For other kids to be like my grandkids, who were left without their mama? They are not thinking right,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez said Evans should have never been released on bond.
Evans was arrested the night of April 26, after the murder of Riojas.
A probable cause affidavit states Riojas and Evans were inside a pickup truck parked at The Five Points convenience store, at the intersection of West Garza Street and Dr. Fermin Calderon Boulevard when she was shot to the face. She passed away later that night at the emergency room.
Gutierrez said she fears someone else may be hurt after Evans bonded out of jail.
“If that’s what the law says that’s fine, but what if somebody else is murdered, I know I am not going to bring my daughter back, but I am worried about the community and that’s what they should be worried about, our community,” she said.
Gutierrez, who Tuesday morning was accompanied by three of Riojas’ five children, said regional media from San Antonio has been keeping up with the story, and she expects her voice is heard across the state, to raise awareness on crimes against women and to help prevent them from happening.
Gutierrez said Riojas knew Evans for about two months, after he came out of jail where he spent some time for an unrelated charge.
“One of my other daughters said my daughter (Riojas) would buy him clothes, she felt sorry for him, I don’t know what he told her but she felt sorry for Evans. She was trying to help him,” she said.
Gutierrez said her main concern is the danger to the community, “and not only that, I don’t want this to happen to another woman out there and her kids suffering, because the ones suffering right now are my grandkids,” she said.
Gutierrez said her protest will continue on for as long as needed until her daughter’s murder gets the justice it deserves.