SAPD: Double shootings were self-defense

2 brothers killed in Father's Day incident


SAN ANTONIO – Police detectives said Sunday's shooting deaths of two brothers -- allegedly by their mother's boyfriend -- falls under the Castle Doctrine that allows property owners to defend themselves against imminent danger.

An SAPD spokeswoman said the case remains under investigation, but at this point, no charges will be filed against 52-year-old Manuel Romero.

Police say Romero opened fire on 27-year-old Manuel Cantu and his 20-year-old brother Armando after they allegedly smashed his car windshield and hit him with a board at his home in the 100 block of Dullnig.

They said the shootings followed a domestic dispute between Romero and his girlfriend, the Cantus' mother, Rosemary Gonzales.

After celebrating Father's Day and the Spurs' Game Four victory with her family, Gonzales said she and Romero,  later had a violent argument.

"He started choking me and punching me and grabbing my arms. I have bruises." Gonzales said. "He started pulling my hair and telling me he was going to kill me."

Gonzales said he then told his nephew to get his gun. She also said she punched him back before walking towards her father's house nearby.

As she turned around, Gonzales said she saw Romero pointing the weapon at her and fired two shots, but missed.

She said when her sons saw her, they knew something was wrong.

"I just said I got into an argument and I just want to get my belongings," Gonzales said.

She said after her sons followed her back to Romero's house, her youngest son smashed his windshield when he saw Romero had a gun.

Gonzales said Romero then opened fired striking him in the chest, and when her oldest son came to his aid, he also was shot.

"If it was self-defense, I'm thinking he could have shot them in the leg. It's not like he didn't know who they were," Gonzales said.

Jennifer De La Garza, Manuel Cantu's widow, said it's unfair.

"He's going to pretty much get away with it. He died in vain trying to protect his mother," De La Garza said.

Priscilla Cantu said justice will not be served in her brothers' deaths.

"He was out to kill. It was no self-defense," Cantu said.

San Antonio police said Romero did leave the scene, but called 911 to report what happened.

However, Gonzales said she now plans to file assault charges against Romero arising from the earlier domestic disturbance.

De La Garza said their loss should serve as a reminder to other families to not intervene in volatile situations, and instead call police.

She said, "Somebody has a gun and there's drinking involved, it's not worth it at all."

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