Shooting suspect out on bond; 8-year-old victim's family terrified

November 15, 2011 4:14:46 PM PST
There are new developments in a heartbreaking story about an innocent little girl who was shot during a drive-by shooting back in February. The suspected shooter is now out of jail on bond and the young victim's family is terrified.

It came as complete news to the family of the 8-year-old girl who was shot. The man accused of shooting her not only bonded out, but is now the subject of a search.

"Sounded like a gun," said the victim's mother, Gracie Salazar.

Desiree Mendoza's mom remembers clearly the day the little girl was shot.

"My daughter tells me, 'Mommy I'm shot.' And I told her, 'Don't be playing like that,'" said Salazar.

Desiree was shot in the back in February in her grandmother's driveway. Last week, the man accused of shooting her -- Derrick Anthony Lopez -- got out of Harris County Jail on $400,000 bond. The family didn't know until today.

"That's why I say I feel like the justice system failed us," Salazar said.

On Monday, Lopez didn't show up to get an ankle monitoring bracelet, and the company that bonded him out, A-Way-Out Bail Bonds, surrendered the full $400,000 to the county. The owner, Peter Perrault, told Eyewitness News he didn't want to comment beyond saying he is looking for Lopez.

And now that Lopez is no longer behind bars and possibly unaccounted for, Desiree's mom worries he'll find them again.

"I'm scared. I am afraid. My mom's afraid," said Salazar.

Desiree Mendoza spent months in the hospital, but her family says she's in good spirits and is improving.

Lopez's defense attorney says he spoke with him last week when he bonded out. Lopez's next court date is scheduled for February 17.

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