Three San Antonio law enforcement officials had been charged with homicide on Friday after police shot and killed a 46-year-old girl, who swung a hammer of their course and gave the impression to be in misery, in her house, officers mentioned.
The three officers, Sgt. Alfred Flores, Officer Eleazar Alejandro and Officer Nathaniel Villalobos, have been suspended with out pay and had been taken into custody on Friday. They’ve been with the San Antonio Police Division for 14, 5 and two years.
“The capturing officers’ actions weren’t in line with S.A.P.D.’s coverage and coaching,” William McManus, chief of the division, mentioned at a information convention Friday night time. “They positioned themselves in a state of affairs the place they used lethal power, which was not cheap given all of the circumstances as we now perceive them.”
The officers obtained a name simply after midnight on Friday morning of a disturbance at an house complicated within the Southwest Facet of San Antonio, Mr. McManus mentioned. The lady, whom authorities recognized as Melissa Perez, was slicing fireplace alarm wires on the complicated, which is a felony crime, police mentioned.
When the officers arrived on the scene, Ms. Perez was talking to fireplace division officers within the parking zone.
Mr. McManus mentioned it appeared she was having a “psychological well being disaster.” When officers tried to get her to stroll towards their automobile, she bumped into her house and locked the door.
After climbing over her porch railing, an officer opened her window display and mentioned, “You’re going to get shot,” in keeping with physique digital camera footage launched by the division. Ms. Perez mentioned, “Shoot me,” and mentioned they didn’t have a warrant.
Mr. McManus mentioned Ms. Perez picked up a candle and threw it at an officer. The sound of glass shattering will be heard within the physique digital camera footage, however it’s unclear from the video what is going on.
The police then waited exterior the house for backup, and a bunch of officers went to the entrance of her house. Officers Flores, Alejandro and Villalobos had been stationed on the porch within the again.
Two officers jumped over the patio railing, Mr. McManus mentioned, and Ms. Perez picked up a hammer and started approaching them.
She then swung the hammer, Mr. McManus mentioned, towards an officer who was exterior the house, and hit a window, breaking it. An officer shot at Ms. Perez, but it surely seems she was not hit, McManus mentioned. She went towards the window once more, nonetheless holding the hammer, and all three of the officers opened fireplace. She was hit at the least two instances, and emergency medical companies pronounced her useless on the scene.
Danny Diaz, president of the San Antonio Police Officers’ Affiliation, mentioned in a press release that the group provided “our deepest condolences to Melissa Perez’s household.” However he declined to remark additional. “Right now, that is an lively investigation, and may’t converse to the matter additional till the investigation is full and judicial course of is underway,” he mentioned within the assertion.
San Antonio has an extended historical past of police violence. In 2018, a police officer shot and killed Charles Roundtree Jr., an unarmed Black teen. A police officer shot unarmed Antronie Scott, 36, in 2016 as a result of he thought he was holding a gun; it was a cellphone. And an off-duty police officer killed Marquise Jones, 23, in 2014, shooting him in the back whereas he was operating from the scene of a minor site visitors accident.
Ananda Tomas, govt director of ACT 4 SA, a police accountability group, mentioned that regardless that there was an abnormally swift response in charging the officers, it remained to be seen whether or not they can be indicted or punished.
Activists, she mentioned, will proceed to work to stop related incidents from occurring once more and can supply help and advocacy to Ms. Perez’s household. She emphasised that true justice would imply that Ms. Perez was nonetheless alive.
“True justice would have been responding to a group member having a psychological well being disaster in a compassionate method,” she mentioned in a press release. It mentioned that the police division “acted with neglect, foolishness and violence that resulted in an unforgivable finish to Melissa’s life.”
Lt. Michelle Ramos, of the San Antonio police, didn’t present remark when requested for an replace on the investigation, however as a substitute despatched the raw and narrated variations of the essential incident report movies that had been launched.
Three separate investigations of Ms. Perez’s dying are being carried out — two by the police division’s inside affairs and murder divisions, and an unbiased investigation by the civil rights division of the Bexar County District Legal professional’s Workplace.
The district legal professional’s workplace couldn’t be instantly reached for remark.
Though Mr. McManus mentioned he didn’t consider any further officers can be charged, he mentioned that each officer on the scene can be investigated by inside affairs.