A vigil on Wednesday night became the setting for calls for a stiffer penalty for the suspect accused of fatally wounding a 33-year-old mother of three.
Officers found the victim, Claudia Sanchez, sitting in the front passenger seat of a white Fiat in the 4600 block of Roxie Street at 4 p.m. Saturday with a gunshot wound to the head, Haltom City police said.
During a candlelight vigil at Little Fossil Park to honor Sanchez, the victim’s brother, Rudy Espinoza, said the manslaughter charge faced by the suspect is not sufficient enough to be a deterrent to others.
“This is a senseless crime,” Espinoza said. “I think the charge of manslaughter needs to be upgraded. If there’s a stiffer penalty people might think twice before they pull out that gun.”
A witness told officers the shooting occurred after the driver of the car Sanchez was riding in was involved in a road rage dispute with another driver that ended in the 4500 block of Hunter Drive. The driver of the Fiat and a passenger in a silver Chevrolet SUV, identified later as 25-year-old Lyneisha Marie McCuin, got into an argument on Hunter Drive, police said.
The driver of the Fiat threw a metal object, possibly a lug nut, at McCuin, according to police.
McCuin grabbed a handgun and fired one shot into the Fiat. Sanchez was struck in the head, police said. The driver of the Fiat fled to a home about a block away in the 4600 block of Roxie Street and called the police.
McCuin was initially arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to police.
That charge has been upgraded to manslaughter, police said Tuesday.
One of Sanchez’s longtime friends, Carlyle Brown, 32, was also thinking of ways to try and end the carnage. Brown said he met Sanchez at Haltom City Middle School and they have been friends ever since. Brown said it was his hope that this shooting would spark a movement to end such senseless violence.
“The world is so crazy these days,” Brown said. “I don’t know when it was that people stopped caring about each other, but it has to change.”