Family speaks out on shooting fatality in Vernon
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) -Family members are speaking out about the murder of a 27-year-old man, who was gunned down on October 12th in Vernon. Vernon police say just before 7pm, 54-year-old Bradford Allen Thompson shot Andre Sandoval multiple times. Thompson is now in jail facing murder charges.
Family members and witnesses to the crime say that Andre was eating cereal on the curb when Thompson walked across the street from his home and shot him multiple times. His mother says shortly after she received a call delivering the news, turning her worst nightmare into reality.
“Right here where we are standing, I lost my son last night,” Nickie Navarro Hopkins, Andre’s mother said. “He was murdered, got shot several times and that is a mother’s worst nightmare.”
Andre Ray Sandoval was 27 years old and homeless, but his family says while he might not have had a roof over his head, it didn’t make him any less of a human being.
“A person goes through struggles,” Josh Sandoval, Andre’s brother said. “Some are weaker than others, but it doesn’t give any right for anybody to discriminate and look down or someone that is homeless or by skin color. It just doesn’t give anybody that right, we are all god’s children.”
A witness of the shooting says she would see Andre regularly, adding many community members knew him and so did the police.
“He walked this area all the time,” Lera Calloway, witness said. “He didn’t bother anybody. He will just come and sit by my house and their house. He will sit across the street. He just walked so the police just let him sit there because he wouldn’t bother nobody.”
She says what took place will be with her forever.
“I was standing out there on my porch,” Calloway said. “I see this man come out of his yard with the gun and a strap on his shoulder. He took the gun and walked right in his face and all I could hear was gunshots.”
Andres family says they want justice, and they will be looking for ways to carry on his legacy and spread awareness so something like this won’t happen again.
“I want to get ahold of an organization that helps the homeless,” Sandoval said. “We are all brothers and sisters out here. If you see somebody down, don’t laugh and make jokes about them; have a bigger heart and help that person because one day it might be you.”
“We also need to help people with mental issues,” Navarro Hopkins said. “Guys if you have a mental issue let your parents, friends somebody help you. Don’t be ashamed or think you are a burden, because when you lose your kid, it is more than a burden.”
The Vernon Police Department along with the Texas Rangers are continuing an on-going investigation for this incident.
Copyright 2022 KAUZ. All rights reserved.