VERNON (KFDX/KJTL)— Family and friends of a 27-year-old Vernon man who was shot and killed in Vernon on Tuesday night, remember him at a candlelight vigil.

The victim identified as Andre Sandoval was shot several times in a vacant lot across from the American Legion out in Vernon.

No family wants to receive that phone call in the middle of the night that something bad has happened to a loved one, especially to find out that your child was murdered.

“My son and his cousins called me and that was my worst nightmare,” Andre’s mother Nicolasa Smith said.

“Worst nightmare receiving that phone call, still trying to process it and accept it. Very unfortunate and uncalled for,” Andre’s father Lino Sandoval said.

This is Nicolasa Smith and Lino Sandoval and this was their son Andre Sandoval, a loving father, son, brother and friend whose life was cut short Tuesday night in Vernon when he was allegedly shot and killed by Bradford Thompson, 54, who is now in jail on murder charges, but for this family, their lives will never be the same

“My son was loveable, I mean he had problems but he would call me from time to time and I always told him that I was there and get help but he just couldn’t accept it,” Smith said.

Andre’s parents say he had recently gotten a divorce and lost a child then became homeless but they say homelessness doesn’t translate to their son being a bad person.
In fact, countless neighbors who drove by Wednesday shared that Andre hung out over in the field frequently, never bothering anyone, so they don’t understand why someone would have done this.

“He came out with a rifle strapped on his shoulder and just started shooting him while he was sitting down across from a vacant lot, he wasn’t bothering nobody, wasn’t bothering him,” Sandoval said.

“This is a field you know he wasn’t bothering anybody and I want justice for my son but I don’t want this to happen to any other parent grandparent or whatever because we all belong to somebody right,” Smith said.

Andre’s family says their focus now will be taking care of the daughter he leaves behind as well as trying to provide more mental health resources to anyone who may be struggling before they suffer the same fate as their loved one.

“Mental illness is bad I mean there’s no helping at times but he was my baby [and] I loved him and I love him, and I always will,” Smith said.

The Vernon police department and the Texas Rangers are investigating this homicide.