Mother of teen shot and killed in south central El Paso speaks out

Gabriela Pitones was shot and killed at a south central El Paso home while she and another teen were handling a gun, police said.

It's been a little more than a month since 16-year-old Gabriela Pitones was shot and killed at a south central El Paso home.

Gabriela was a Burgess High School student and a member of the wrestling team.

"The last message that I got from my daughter was at 12:45 a.m., and she said, 'Mom, I'm ok but I'll be home soon,'" recalled her mother, Denise Ochoa.

It happened at 3:30 a.m. Police say Gabriela and another teen were handling a gun when she was shot in the torso.

Ochoa said she didn't find out until much later, from one of her daughter's friends.

"Why did we find out 12 hours later? And not by [law enforcement], but by that boy that sent me the text message," she said.

Ochoa said she now knows a little more about the events leading up to the shooting.

"We got a text message from one of their friends telling us that they were drinking at that house where she died," she said.

Police haven't determined if Gabriela was shot on purpose or if it was an accident.

Ochoa thinks there's more to the story.

"If it was accidental, OK. Where's my daughter's cellphone? Why was she unidentified? Why didn't [anyone] notify me?" Ochoa asked.

KFOX14 reached out to El Paso police. A spokesperson said there are no updates, leaving Ochoa with nothing but questions and memories.

"Her smile. You can see in the pictures. Her dimples. She was outgoing. She was brave."

Now, Ochoa hopes other parents will be more aware of what their kids are doing while all hanging out at home.

"When they're at your house, and you see them doing something they shouldn't be doing, you call [law enforcement]," Ochoa said.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off