Mother of student killed in Santa Fe mass shooting arrested after Confederate flag argument

Erica Simon Image
Saturday, February 4, 2023
Confederate flag flies next to Santa Fe victim's grandparents
A confrontation between neighbors - and a Confederate flag is at the center of it. The couple living next to it doesn't think it has a place at all in the neighborhood. And for added measure, the couple has confronted tragedy in the past.

SANTE FE, Texas (KTRK) -- A fight over a Confederate flag finally came to a head in a Santa Fe neighborhood. The mother of Chris Stone, a student who was tragically killed in a mass shooting at the high school in 2018, says she and her family have been victims of racial intimidation.

She was arrested when she had enough and took down her neighbor's flag. Now, her attorney is calling for the charges to be dropped.

"Aqui estamos y nos los vamos. And for you over there that are watching from that property, bilingually challenged. We're here, and we're not going anywhere," Robert Quintero, President of LULAC Council No. 151 said.

RELATED: Neighbors at odds with history buff for flying Confederate flag in his backyard

"You don't need to be hollering at them," Ronny Turrentine shouted.

"I can holler anywhere I want," Quintero replied.

That exchange happened in the middle of a Friday news conference to discuss the flag hanging from the Turrentine family's fence on East Bellaire Street.

"When they walk out, they see this big, red flag. Some people say this doesn't stand for racism. But a lot of people think it stands for that very thing," Civil Rights attorney Randall Kallinen said.

They are Rosie Yanas' 80 and 90-year-old parents, who Rosie takes care of. She says their neighbor intentionally flies the Confederate flag on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and makes sure they all see it. Yanas has been dealing with a lot of changes and tragedies. Not only is she now a caregiver, but she's also a grieving mother.

"He waited for me to come out at 2:00 in the afternoon, on the way to my brother's, put that flag up and said 'Merry (expletive) Christmas.' On the first Christmas after I lost my son, and you are going to tell me I don't have a right to do something. I do everything I can to keep the peace, but a person can only take so much."

When Yanas took the flag down last week, she was arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest, which she said felt unjust. So do her attorney and community leaders, who are standing by her.

"We demand an apology, not only from this officer but from the police department that condones this," one LULAC leader said.

Ronny, the flag owner's brother, says the flying of the Confederate flag has nothing to do with skin color. At least for his family.

"It has nothing to do with (race). I was in the military, Marine Corps. Some of my best friends there were Spanish people," he said.

RELATED: Mom shocked by school library Christmas book showing Santa with Confederate flag sack, gun

In addition to an apology from the Santa Fe Police Department, Yanas' attorney is asking for the Justice Department to investigate and for the district attorney to drop the charges against his client.

"I just hope that this can get cleared up. Everybody lives in peace, and she would keep her thoughts and mouth to herself," Turrentine said.

ABC13 reached out to the Santa Fe Police Department about the arrest but hasn't heard back.

The Galveston County District Attorney's Office says the DA will be reviewing Yanas' charges.

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