A 30-year-old drill sergeant, who was also a mother of a 10-year-old, was on leave to celebrate the holidays when she was discovered fatally shot in Texas during the opening hours of 2021, according to investigators.
Drill Sgt. Jessica Mitchell, a 68E Dental Specialist, was assigned to the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.
Around 2 a.m. on New Year’s Day, police officers responding to a call of a stranded vehicle in the fast lane on Interstate 10 in San Antonio. Mitchell was found in a white Dodge Challenger on I-10 that had multiple bullet holes on the driver’s side door and window, San Antonio police said in a statement.
“Officers opened the vehicle door and checked for a pulse on the victim (who) appeared to have been struck multiple times,” police said.
Mitchell had no pulse, and was taken to University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on Friday, according to the JBSA. Mitchell was said to have died from multiple gunshot wounds.
“We are devastated by the tragic loss of Drill Sergeant Jessica Mitchell. Our sincere condolences go out to her family and friends,” Maj. Gen. Dennis LeMaster, the MEDCoE Commanding Genera, said. “We are focused on supporting Drill Sergeant Mitchell’s family as well as her soldiers during this extremely difficult time.”
Her sister, Ashley Mitchell, told WTXF-TV, “Why would anybody want to do this? Why do people do such heinous acts of crime for no reason?”
Mitchell had a 10-year-old son, according to Francesca Toby, Mitchell’s childhood friend.
“She was a beautiful, beautiful woman. She had a son, and he’s without his mom, and I just want to give my prayers to her family, to her son, to her son’s father,” Toby told WOAI-TV in San Antonio.
Mayo Mitchell, Jessica’s father, was incredibly proud that his daughter was a fifth-generation military member.
“I told all my children, I want you to do better than what I have done,” Mayo Mitchell said. “She and my children have so far and she wanted to be the best that she can be in her military career. But that was cut short.”
The Mitchell family recently experienced another tragedy when Jessica’s 18-year-old brother, Justice, was shot and killed in 2017.
The Army’s Criminal Investigation Division and the San Antonio Police Department have launched an investigation into Mitchell’s shooting death.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact SAPD’s Homicide Department at 210-207-7635.