Mother of 3-year-old Elsa boy who died in accidental shooting speaks out

Related Story

The mother of a 3-year-old Elsa boy who died from a self-inflicted gunshot spoke out about the loss of her child in a situation she says should never have happened. 

"It still feels like the dream that I want to wake up from," Janett Rivera said, days after her 3-year-old son Troy Blue Dueñez accidentally fatally shot himself after finding an unsecured and loaded gun while in his father's care.  

Rivera said she and Troy's father, Salvador Domingo Dueñez Jr., were no longer together and that he had not seen his children for at least a month due to COVID-19. 

"I wish this would have never happened. I wish I would have never let him see my kids," Rivera said. "It was like another normal day, but I got the call, and everything just — went bad."

RELATED: Father of boy who died in accidental shooting turns himself in to Elsa police

Official records showed Salvador told Elsa police that he was sleeping moments before the single shot was fired, adding that he kept his semi-automatic 9-millimeter handgun in a shoebox stored in a closet. 

The young child was airlifted to DHR Hospital in Edinburg, but Rivera says staff told her it was too late to save her boy. 

"I don't know how I'm going to move on. It's going to be hard," Rivera said. "Very hard because Troy was my little light in the day."

RELATED: Father of boy who died in accidental shooting turns himself in to Elsa police

Elsa police Chief Robert McGinnis says more charges could be coming for Dueñez Jr.

But Rivera says for a mourning mother, an arrest won't bring her son back. 

"I don't think anything will ever give me closure," she said. "They're going do what they're going to do to him, you know, but it just should've never happened."


7 Days