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Police catch driver in fatal hit-and-run crash

Records show Walter Shafer, 30, has two prior DWI arrests

SAN ANTONIO – A North side man with a criminal history that includes two prior drunken driving arrests is accused of doing it again. Only this time, it involved a death.

San Antonio police arrested Walter Shafer, 30, on charges of intoxication manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid.

Police said Shafer ran from the scene after crashing into a pickup that was parked in the 700 block of Austin St.  

Julian Rodriguez, 79, was attempting to get into the truck on the passengers side at the time. A police report shows Shafer's car also jumped the curb and hit Rodriguez, pinning him between the two vehicles.

"We heard this very loud, loud noise, like an explosion. And I'm like, 'Oh my goodness something happened!," said Ana Sarmiento, who owns a nearby business.

Sarmiento said she quickly dismissed the noise as coming from a garbage dumpster.  Only later did she see the crash scene markings on the street and learn what happened.

Tony Huizar also wanted to know the details and came to the scene Thursday morning. He said he and Rodriguez had been friends for more than 30 years. 

Ironically, Huizar had just helped Rodriguez celebrate his 79th birthday the day before he died.

"He was kind of quiet. He didn't bother nobody.  He was good people," said Huizar.

Records show Shafer, meanwhile, has had prior troubles with the law regarding speeding as well as the two arrests for drunken driving.