San Antonio movie theater shooting victim recovering

Mario Acevedo shot in back at Mayan Palace 14

SAN ANTONIO - A 49-year-old man who was shot in the back during Sunday's shooting at the Mayan Palace 14 movie theater said the sounds are still stuck in his head.

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"All day, all night. I just hear the gun shooting and the kids and people yelling and screaming," Mario Acevedo said from his South Side home Tuesday afternoon. "I want to forget what happened and I can't. I'm trying my best and I can't."

Acevedo, 49, had left the movie he was watching and was walking down a hallway when he noticed off-duty Bexar County sheriff's Sgt. Lisa Castellano run past him in one direction and other moviegoers running towards him.

"They were all yelling and screaming and when I turned around I heard the gunshots, 'Boom boom boom boom boom!' non-stop," Acevedo said.

Moments later, Acevedo felt a stinging heat in his left chest and saw that he was bleeding. He escaped outside, but had to walk to a nearby U-Haul to receive treatment because medical personnel were not pulling up close to the theater. The bullet entered his back just under his left shoulder blade and exited his left chest inches from his heart.

"It's a miracle I'm alive," he said, adding that the physical pain is less than the psychological pain he now deals with. "I'm scared to go outside, scared to go to the movies. I ain't going to go to the movies no more. Never, never again."

Acevedo hasn't been out of his house except for trips to the doctor and once to his sister's home. He plans to get counseling to help him with the images he cannot shake, thinking they would have been much worse had Castellano not been there that night.

"What if that lady wasn't there?" he asked. "I guarantee you, I would have been dead and I guarantee you, kids and adults would be dead because that guy had more rounds."

The suspect, 19-year-old Jesus Garcia, was eventually cornered in a theater bathroom and shot four times by Castellano. Garcia is in stable condition at San Antonio Military Medical Center and is expected to survive. The shooting began at a nearby China Garden restaurant. Authorities said it began after Garcia and a co-worker at the restaurant broke up earlier in the day.

Garcia sent a text message to the woman saying he was going to the restaurant to "shoot somebody" and by the time she called police, he had already begun shooting at the restaurant eventually entering and chasing one person out. He also shot out the windshield of a patrol car with an officer inside. Garcia faces charges of attempted capital murder of a police officer and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He is being held in the Bexar County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond.

"Think twice before you do something like that because you're not just jeopardizing one person, you're jeopardizing all the people in there, innocent people," Acevedo said.

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