What happened to Andre Hernandez? Jury says SAPD officer would not be charged over teen’s 2022 death

Andre Hernandez (Image via Poptics/Twitter)
Andre Hernandez (Image via Poptics/Twitter)

On June 2, 2022, 13-year-old Andre Hernandez was fatally shot by a San Antonio police officer after authorities said he rammed a stolen car into a police vehicle.

Months after the incident, on Thursday, February 16, 2023, authorities said that a grand jury declined to indict San Antonio police officer Stephen Ramos in the fatal shooting of Andre Hernandez. Authorities arrived at this decision despite a video showing that the latter hit a police vehicle in a low-speed, minor collision, thwarting the official statement that he “slammed” into the cruiser.

In an official statement at the time, the San Antonio Police department said that officers were responding to reports of gunfire in Southeast San Antonio on June 3, 2022, when a car with a suspect came barreling down the road and slammed into the police vehicle. This caused the officer to shoot the suspect to stop him.

Following the incident, the department released a partial video of the shooting.

However, multiple videos released on Friday, February 17, 2023, showed Hernandez merely bumping into the police vehicle before being shot while still inside the car by the officer.

A 16-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy were also in the car and were reportedly uninjured in the incident.

Authorities informed Andre Hernandez's family about his death five days after he was killed

Andre Hernandez’s mother, Lynda Espinoza, discovered that her son was killed five days after the incident. NBC News reported at the time that Espinoza was contacted by the police about her son’s death days after the incident.

Espinoza told the outlet that she had surmised that her son was dead through newspaper articles that did not name Hernandez at the time.

Espinoza then reached out to the outlet that interviewed her and prompted the police to contact her regarding her son’s death. Authorities allegedly shared a partial video of the incident with Espinoza. At the time, Espinoza told NBC News:

“I really don’t understand what the police are hiding. My son was 13 years old. That’s the key. He was a little boy, and he did not deserve to get shot and killed by a police officer.”

She added:

“I don't know what I'm supposed to do when I see it, but I want to see why they shot my son.”

Several months after her son was fatally shot by the police, a grand jury declined to indict San Antonio police officer Stephen Ramos. Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales announced that Ramos will not face any charges in the fatal shooting of Andre Hernandez after the jury decided on the same based on an investigation report provided by the Civil Rights Division.

“Our system of justice is based on citizen input, yet nothing can repair the pain and loss that AJ Hernandez’s family has endured. A young boy was tragically lost on that day and we know that no mother should ever have to bury their child.”

Two months before he was killed, Hernandez was arrested in April 2022 after he was found smuggling illegal immigrants in a vehicle.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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