Elias Espinosa has been arrested and Jaylon Thornton, Zillyana father declared wanted for the death of a minor. 22-month-old Zillyana Thornton was shot death according to reports obtained from Waco Police Department.
One arrest has been made and another suspect is wanted regarding the shooting death of 22-month-old Zillyana Thornton. Jaylon Thornton, Zillyana’s father, is wanted for PC 22.04 Injury to a Child by Omission, first degree felony, (Photo Shown Below). Elias Espinosa, a family member, was arrested on 6/10/22 and charged with PC 19.02(b)(3) Murder, first degree felony. How the shooting occurred is still under investigation.
Video evidence shows Thornton delayed medical attention to Zillyana, after she was shot, by six minutes. Detectives learned Thornton was going to take Zillyana to the hospital but exited the car to retrieve a backpack of marijuana and told Espinosa to leave with it.
Espinosa left with the marijuana while Thornton waited for Zillyana’s mother to arrive. Before leaving for the hospital in the mother’s car, Thornton once again delayed medical aid, going back into the house to retrieve his house keys.
Medical records and doctor’s analysis showed Zillyana’s heart was beating for 33 minutes after she was shot, and the autopsy determined that her wounds were not immediately fatal. If she had received medical aid earlier, she would have had a better chance for survival. For these reasons, Thornton is charged with PC 22.04 Injury to a Child by Omission, first degree felony.
Detectives learned the gun that was used in the shooting death of Zillyana is Elias Espinosa’s firearm. In addition to the initial charge of Tampering with Evidence, Espinosa will be charged with PC 19.02(b)(3) Murder, first degree felony, due to child endangerment.
The initial investigation found that the gun was on the couch when the shooting occurred. Espinosa did not have this weapon stored in a holster nor did it have any other external safeties and he physically removed himself from its immediate vicinity, failing to supervise the weapon. These actions resulted in the shooting which caused Zillyana’s death.
The gun has been registered stolen out of Corpus Christi and additional charges are pending. This Murder arrest makes this the 14th homicide of the year with 12 cases and eight of them resulting in arrests.
Read the Original Press Release Below;
Waco PD Special Crimes and Crimes Against Children Detectives are searching for answers in the shooting death of a 22-month-old girl. With the continued gun related crime, the Waco Police Department and Chief Sheryl Victorian have a very important message to share with the community.
“Waco, it is with great sadness that yet again one of our children has died from gunfire. It is heartbreaking to watch and hear of family members mourning from gun related incidents or violence that could have been prevented. No one needs to live with the guilt or heartache of knowing that a weapon that they owned, were in possession of, or mishandled, killed or injured anyone, particularly innocent children.
Guns are not toys and should always be handled responsibly and as if they are loaded. Under NO circumstance should guns be accessible to children. The consequence of discharging a weapon not only impacts the person injured or killed, but families and communities as well. The Waco Police Department is urging all gun owners to lock, secure and safely store weapons. We must take ownership in protecting the lives of our loved ones from ALL gun violence.”
Officers responded to a shooting that occurred just before 3 p.m. near the 3500 Block of Alta Vista on May 11, 2022. When officers arrived, the child was already at the hospital receiving medical treatment. Unfortunately, the child died due to her injuries. Officers collected the gun believed to be used in the shooting and through the initial investigation officers have arrested 25-year-old Elias Espinosa for tampering with evidence.
This investigation is ongoing, updates will be provided when available.