Family: Shooting victim in wrong place at wrong time

J.C. Escamilla gunned down outside Planet Fitness

SAN ANTONIO - The family of a man who was shot to death outside of a North side fitness club Sunday night said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.


Julio Escamilla said his brother, 31-year-old J.C. Escamilla, had just started working a part time job at Planet Fitness and Sunday was only his fourth day working at the club when he was shot to death in the parking lot as he walked with a female member.

Police said Escamilla and 21-year-old Margaret McCombs were walking together in the parking lot when the alleged gunman, 27-year-old Yu Masaki, approached them and opened fire.

Escamilla was hit first and fell to the ground near his vehicle, a police report stated. McCombs ran away but was chased by Masaki who shot her in the face before fleeing.

According to witnesses, Masaki was a member of Planet Fitness but had been recently told by managers not to return to the location at Loop 410 and McCullough because he had made "extremely aggressive advances towards females," including McCombs. 

One witness told investigators Masaki had attempted to give McCombs a gift once which she declined. They also stated she made it clear she wasn't interested in him.

Julio Escamilla said his younger brother was employed by Frost Bank where he had spent the past 13 years. He was a teller supervisor at one of the bank’s branches in the Stone Oak area.

Escamilla was also a father to a 9-year-old boy. On Sunday before going to the club, Escamilla said his bother coached his son's first CYO basketball game and was very excited about the team and was, "high on life."

Escamilla said his family is hopeful McComb's will recover from the shooting and they were relieved San Antonio police had arrested Masaki and charged him with murder.

"It's up to God to judge him," Escamilla said. "He'll have to deal with what his actions are and right now we're leaning on our faith and just being strong for our family and for his son."

Planet Fitness released a statement about the deadly shooting Monday afternoon.

It reads: We are shocked and saddened by the death of one of our own - Juan Escamilla - and the severe injury of one of our loyal members, Margaret McCombs. It is an unspeakable tragedy that has left the company with very heavy hearts.

On behalf of the Planet Fitness leadership and staff, we offer the deepest sympathies to the family of Juan and Margaret, who were valuable members of the Planet Fitness community here in San Antonio. Both Juan and Margaret have been loyal members of Planet Fitness since 2009, and Juan began working for us on a part-time basis at the front desk on Dec. 28.”


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