SAN ANTONIO – A shooting that landed three teens in the hospital all started with an argument over social media. Now the chief of police is speaking sternly about the internet's effect on crime in San Antonio and is calling Wednesday night's shooting a prime example.
There was a tone of frustration at a press conference Friday from the city's top cop, who is also a father of three.
"If you think you're challenging someone to a fight and you think it's going to be fists, then you're being very naïve. You've got to believe or understand there's a possibility that somebody's going to bring a gun to that fight," San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said.
That's exactly what happened around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday on the Southwest Side. Two groups of high school students challenged each other over Facebook and arranged a fight on Seacomber Place near Five Palms Drive.
"My understanding is that parents arrived on the scene to break it up. The suspects in this situation ran, and when they got back to their vehicle, they opened fire on the other group," McManus said.
Three teens were hit. One boy was shot three times in the groin. Another was shot in the face. Those two were taken to University Hospital in critical condition. The third teen was shot in the hand. She was taken to the San Antonio Military Medical Center.
"It's a dangerous dangerous thing when you're doing things on social media that could lead to you being the victim of a violent crime," McManus said.
McManus not only pleaded to youngsters to cut out their risky internet behavior but also reached out to their parents.
"I'm not preaching to parents out there because I am one myself, three young children. We need to keep our kids off of social media or watch what they're doing very closely on social media," he said.
McManus said he believes doing so will lower the increasing number of violent crimes, stemming from online disputes.
"It is risky behavior and you can't prevent it, and that is what in part drives our numbers up. It's absolutely insane," he said. "The fact that they were doing it on Facebook and it led to a shooting is really, really problematic for everyone involved, for the kids, their families and for the police. We're lucky more people weren't hit."
McManus said the shooting is not gang-related and the teens involved were all around 17 years old. Detectives know who two of the suspects are and are looking for them now. They believe others could be responsible and are working to narrow that down as they gather more details.
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