Chase suspect identified in shooting of Bexar County deputy

Deputy Manny Herrera shot twice before Jose Mata, 25, fled

Author: Stephanie Serna, Reporter, sserna@ksat.com
Published On: Feb 23 2013 06:23:55 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 23 2013 06:09:44 PM CST
Suspect and sister
SAN ANTONIO -

Police have identified the man who was fatally wounded by officers after he shot a Bexar County Sheriff's deputy Friday in northeast Bexar County.

Police said after being on the run for nearly an hour, 25-year-old Jose Mata pointed a gun at officers who fired back at him and killed him.

"He wasn't a bad guy," Victoria Chavez, Mata's younger sister, said Saturday. "He's always been real close to my mom."

Chavez said Saturday that she is devastated now knowing that her brother is gone. What is even harder for her to take, she said, is how he died.

"I never thought my brother would be shooting a cop," she said. "And them, shooting him and killing him."

Sheriff's officials said after Mata shot Deputy Manny Herrera twice, he took the deputy's Tahoe and then led officers on a high-speed chase.

Police said Mata eventually ditched the vehicle and ran into a wooded area, until he was cornered by two San Antonio Police officers.

Police officials said he pointed a gun at those officers and they fired back at him, hitting him and killing him.

Chavez said she knows that her brother was going through some tough times, but she never imagined he would be involved in something like this.

"I don't understand the situation," said Chavez. "What happened with him in the car chase or anything, but it just didn't seem like him."

Chavez said now Mata's 7-year-old son will have to grow up without his father and that at 6 months pregnant, she is sad that her own son will never get a chance to meet her older brother.

"Just the other day he said, 'I can't wait until the baby's out,'" said Chavez.

According to public data, Mata had a lengthy criminal record, but it is still not clear what prompted him to shoot Herrera, who was treated at San Antonio Military Medical Center. Herrera has since been released from the hospital, sheriff's spokesman Paul Berry said.

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