Gang Members Took My Son
"There's a killing over here," said Cynthia Hernandez, 45, to a 911 dispatcher about 11:45 p.m. "There's some shootings going on."
The woman's demeanor on the tape varies from fairly calm to nearly crying and occasionally confused. Hernandez tells the dispatcher that she heard shots fired and that a group of men had captured her son and the man she calls her husband on the phone. In the background, the woman can be heard talking to an unknown person in the background during the call.
As the woman continues on the phone with the dispatcher, she says her son has been shot and that she "knew it was gonna happen today because they already got (her) daughter."
"I heard them. Oh my God, they just shot my son. ... Yes, my baby's screaming. His dad is screaming," the woman said.
Police officers and paramedics rushed to the woman's apartment complex at 30 W. Carter Drive, near Mill Avenue and U.S. 60, only to find Hernandez and her son, 14-year-old Jeremy Barragan, uninjured and not in danger.
Police spokesman Brandon Banks said the only person in the area was a neighbor talking on his cell phone and that no shots had been fired and no gang members had been seen in the area.
"Tempe fire units were cleared, as there were no injuries to treat, and Tempe officers, having established no crime had been committed, left the scene after documenting their contact with Hernandez and Barragan," Banks said.
Court records state the following day the woman retrieved a towel and a rifle and, after draping the cloth over the boy's face, attempted to pull the trigger.
When the gun didn't fire, the woman went to another bedroom, grabbed a bullet, loaded the weapon and shot the boy, according to court papers.
Tempe police spokeswoman Sgt. Cindy Davies said she would have to talk with a case detective to determine if the woman's mental state during the earlier bogus call could have warranted court-ordered treatment.
After the slaying, Hernandez told police she believed she had killed a "look-alike" when her son was shot in the head during his sleep.
Court records list Hernandez as "mentally disturbed" or "delusional" at the time of the killing.
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