NW Bexar County standoff suspect, woman found dead in home, ID'd

Suspect identified as Fernando Macias, 60, charged with attempted capital murder

By Patty Santos - Reporter, Ivan Herrera - Web Producer, Katrina Webber - Crime Fighters Reporter, Garrett Brnger - Reporter, Ben Spicer - Web Producer

SAN ANTONIO - Updated Thursday at 10:53 a.m.:

The suspect was identified as Fernando Macias, 60. He is charged with attempted capital murder of police.

Macias' mother, who was found dead in the home, was identified by a relative as Amelia Macias, 84.

The Texas Rangers, Bexar County Sheriff's Office and FBI were all out at the scene on Thursday. 

BCSO deputies blocked off that portion of Saddle Trail from non-residents at either end.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also confirmed it was assisting with the investigation by assisting with tracing a recovered firearm and searching for improvised explosive devices. ATF spokeswoman Nicole Strong said she did not know whether any IEDs were found or the type of firearm that was recovered.

Strong said the agency also had an explosive enforcement officer on the scene during the standoff. Macias had reportedly tried to shoot and blow up propane tanks when the SWAT team entered early Thursday morning.

Updated at 10:30 p.m.: 

A woman in her 80s is dead and a man is injured and in law enforcement custody after a standoff in Northwest Bexar County that lasted more than 24 hours.

The standoff originally began when the BCSO's mental health team went to the home in the 9200 block of Saddle Trail around 7 p.m. to serve a warrant on a 60-year-old man and to check on the welfare of a woman in her 80s. Relatives said they had been especially concerned about the woman, who they had been trying to reach for some time.

The team went into the home with tactical gear, officials said. Once they entered, they were met with gunfire with some of the shots hitting a ballistic shield, Salazar said. The team exited the home and then called for help.

The SWAT team arrived and spent several hours trying to negotiate with the man but had very little luck. Salazar said they made "hundreds of attempts" to negotiate.

At one point, the man came out of the house and fired at deputies. No one was hit.

Later, SWAT team members went into the home to try to get the woman out and also were met with gunfire and returned fire.

Sheriff Javier Salazar said when the armed man opened fire, bullets slammed the shield. Two SWAT deputies suffered relatively minor facial injuries.

 

One of the officers still has a piece of glass embedded in his eyelid and was hit by shrapnel in his arm, Salazar said.

Despite the injuries, both officers were treated and released back to the scene.

SWAT team members noticed several propane tanks throughout the home which appeared to be staged, as an explosive device, officials said. The BCSO called in SAPD's bomb squad with the truck arriving around 3:15 a.m.

"They did find that there were several propane tanks within the residence that appeared to have been staged, possibly to create an explosive device," Salazar said. "And it did appear to members of the SWAT team that he appeared to be targeting those tanks."

Salazar said the man tried to shoot propane tanks around the home.

"Being that he was willing to blow up a SWAT team last night, along with the rest of the house, had one of those tanks gone as a result of the gunfire, I think it's pretty clear that he's a direct threat to her, us, himself and the public at large," Salazar said.

Two armored vehicles were seen entering the neighborhood as the standoff entered the 20th hour.

"We're prepared to respond in kind if the suspect decides to escalate the situation. But that being said, we don't want that to happen," Salazar said.

Salazar reiterated that he was prepared to, "wait this out. Personnel is on our side. Time is on our side."

Around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, officials confirmed the standoff had ended and that the man had been injured and was in custody.

At a 9:30 p.m. news conference, Salazar said the woman in her 80s was found dead when SWAT members made entry. He said the man was taken to the hospital to get treatment.

“We also found an elderly female within the residence deceased. She did have some trauma. At this point, I would not be able to speculate on the exact nature of the trauma,” Salazar said.

The sheriff did not release the man or woman’s name and did not give details on the extent of the man’s injuries.

“The male suspect, he was not in a condition to care for himself, much less care for her and some of her special needs. We knew that he was quite violent, and at one point, even expressing a willingness, a ready willingness, to exchange gunfire with our BCSO SWAT team,” Salazar said.

Salazar said dozens of shots were fired between Texas Department of Public Safety SWAT team members and the suspect. Officers used drones, flashbangs and heavy armored vehicles to put the standoff to an end.

Two deputies are on paid administrative leave while officials investigate the incident. The Texas Department of Public Safety will be taking over the investigation.

The sheriff wanted to let residents in the area know that they are now safe.

Updated at 9:30 p.m.: 

The woman in her 80s in the home was found dead in the home once deputies were able to make their way inside. The suspect was taken to the hospital to get treatment. The Texas Department of Public Safety will be taking over the investigation. 

Updated at 7:50 p.m.: Officials have confirmed that the standoff has ended. The suspect is in custody and is injured. Officials are expected to release more information soon.

Updated at 4 p.m.:

The Bexar County Sheriff's Office released images of a SWAT ballistic shield that officials said was shot at by the standoff suspect.

Sheriff Javier Salazar said when the armed man opened fire, bullets slammed the shield. Two SWAT deputies suffered relatively minor facial injuries.

Slideshow: BCSO releases images of SWAT ballistic shield shot at by standoff suspect

One of the officers still has a piece of glass embedded in his eyelid and was hit by shrapnel in his arm, Salazar said. 

Despite the injuries, both officers were treated and released back to the scene.

Updated at 3:30 p.m.:

Two armored vehicles were seen entering the neighborhood as the standoff entered the 20th hour.

"We're prepared to respond in kind if the suspect decides to escalate the situation. But that being said, we don't want that to happen," Sheriff Javier Salazar said.

Salazar reiterated that he's prepared to, "wait this out. Personnel is on our side. Time is on our side."

He said that negotiators haven't spoken to the man in 12 hours.

Salazar said deputies are ready to escort residents back to their homes when they return from home and work, but he preferred that they stay away if possible for safety reasons.

Updated at 1:08 p.m.:

At a news conference, Sheriff Javier Salazar said the armed man remains holed up in his home with an elderly woman believed to be his ill elderly mother, who is in her 80s.

Salazar said the 60-year-old man tried to shoot propane tanks around the home in what the sheriff believes was an effort to blow up the tanks.

"Being that he was willing to blow up a SWAT team last night, along with the rest of the house, had one of those tanks gone as a result of the gunfire, I think it's pretty clear that he's a direct threat to her, us, himself and the public at large," Salazar said.

Two deputies were hit by shrapnel, Salazar said. One of them was taken to University Hospital to have stitches sewn on his face. The other deputy was treated at  the scene.

Negotiators have re-established communications with the man, but haven't made progress. Salazar said the man isn't cooperating with negotiators, who believe they heard the woman's voice over the telephone.

Salazar said his SWAT team and deputies are ready to "hunker down" and wait it out, but would rather have the man surrender peacefully.

"We're exploring some options, but certainly it would be much easier on everybody if the subject released the elderly woman to us and let us make sure that her health needs are taken care of, and/or surrender himself is what we would prefer. We would prefer a peaceful solution to this," Salazar said.

The sheriff is asking nearby residents to evacuate their homes.  

He also asked people to stay away from the neighborhood, if possible.

Original story:

Two members of the SWAT team working at the Northwest Bexar County standoff suffered non-life-threatening injuries after they were hit by ricochet bullets overnight, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said.

The standoff originally began when the BCSO's mental health team went to the home in the 9200 block of Saddle Trail around 7 p.m. to serve a warrant on a 60-year-old man and to check on the welfare of a woman in her 80s. Relatives said they had been especially concerned about the woman, who they had been trying to reach for some time.

The team went into the home with tactical gear, officials said. Once they entered, they were met with gunfire with some of the shots hitting a ballistic shield, Salazar said. The team exited the home and then called for help.

RELATED: Deputies met with gunfire while serving mental health warrant in NW Bexar County

The SWAT team arrived and spent several hours trying to negotiate with the man but had very little luck. Salazar said they made "hundreds of attempts" to negotiate. 

At one point, the man came out of the house and fired at deputies. No one was hit.

Later, SWAT team members went into the home to try to get the woman out and also were met with gunfire and returned fire. Two of the SWAT members suffered non-life-threatening injuries to the face. One of the two also had shrapnel wounds to his arm, Salazar said. One of the men was taken to University Hospital while the other remained at the scene.

SWAT team members noticed several propane tanks throughout the home which appeared to be staged, as an explosive device, officials said. They said it appeared that the suspect was aiming for the tanks with his gunfire. The BCSO called in SAPD's bomb squad with the truck arriving around 3:15 a.m.

"They did find that there were several propane tanks within the residence that appeared to have been staged, possibly to create an explosive device," Salazar said. "And it did appear to members of the SWAT team that he appeared to be targeting those tanks."

The sheriff said at this time they're still not sure where the woman is and that they intend to wait it out. 

Authorities are now asking people in the area to shelter in place but said that they're also trying not to inconvenience people who may have to get up and go to work. They said they will help those who need to get out but advise anyone who doesn't have to go to just stay home.

This is a developing story. Stay with KSAT 12 both online and on-air for more information.

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