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Father details how 11-year-old daughter was killed by celebratory gunfire on New Year's

11-year-old girl hit by celebratory gun shot
Posted at 8:22 PM, Jan 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-04 21:49:55-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Throughout the day Monday, Robert Silva has been staring at the memorial for his daughter — Amethyst — outside his home at the Allure Apartment complex.

“Should have never happened to my daughter,” he said “She’s so young, she’s only 11. Full of life. My baby. Everyone loved her. Everyone.”

Robert and his family wanted to to stay close to home on New Year’s eve. So, they were just outside their apartment on Middlecoff Circle, watching fireworks.

“We’re here, we’re outside. You think you're (in the) safest place, you’re not. There’s no where to be safe,” Robert said.

When the clock struck 12, fireworks went off, then Robert heard celebratory gun shots, too.

“I heard them hit the sign over here," said Robert pointing to the entrance to the apartment complex. "Third shot hit my daughter in the back. She fell to the ground, limp, here.”

Robert said Amethyst let out an “ouch” then fell to the ground. Robert followed her as he realized what happened.

He said he couldn’t get through to 911 dispatch, so he took his daughter to the hospital himself. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

On Sunday, a candlelight vigil was held for Amethyst. Dozens of people came out to remember her. A few hours later, police announced they arrested two men in connection with the shooting, 29-year-old Deonis Poindexter and 43-year-old Jacob Leal.

Before the fireworks, the Silva family was taking photos to remember the night. Robert said one of those pictures helped police out.

“One picture that we took — which was of Melinda and my baby — and that was a key. That was a key we were able to see and they caught them,” he said.

Robert said he was so thankful for everyone who came to the vigil. He knew people cared about his daughter when they brought Unicorn stuffed animals or things with unicorns on them. Amethyst loved unicorns.

Poindexter and Leal were charged with deadly conduct discharging a firearm. Corpus Christi Police said charges could be upgraded. As of Monday afternoon, their crime scene investigation units were still combing the area for more evidence.

The two men are being held at the Nueces County Jail on $75,000 bond, each.

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