Woman recalls standoff, shooting in NW Bexar County

Suspect charged with attempted capital murder; elderly mother found dead in home

SAN ANTONIO – Diane Martinez heard loud noises as she watched television on Tuesday night in her home on the sleepy Saddle Trail. 

It was too late for the noise to be from the construction next door, Martinez figured, but she didn't see anything amiss. So she ignored the noise, though not for long.

"I'm getting a text message saying, 'Hey, there's a shooter in your area,' Martinez said. "Then my husband's calling and saying he's blocked off and he can't get in. So I'm, like, 'What's happening?'"

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

What was happening was the beginning of a standoff between Fernando Macias, 60, and law enforcement officers that lasted more than a day. The Bexar County Sheriff's Office said deputies were trying to serve Macias with a mental health warrant and check on the welfare of his elderly mother, for whom Macias was caring when they were met with gunfire.

The gunfire sparked a standoff that would end with several exchanges of gunfire, two wounded deputies and the death of Macias' 84-year-old mother, whom family identified as Amelia Macias. The standoff would also disrupt the neighborhood and cause the evacuation of residents, including Martinez.

Deputies arrived at around 6 p.m. Wednesday night, according to an arrest affidavit, but Macias opened a sliding door upstairs and yelled at deputies to leave. As the members of the Mental Health Unit tried to speak with him, they heard a "boom" that sounded like a gunshot and sought cover.

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

The deputies found a projectile lodged in a ballistic shield they had been holding and called for SWAT. 

Martinez, who recalled hearing the six shots at around 7 p.m. or 8 p.m., may have heard the second instance of gunfire when Macias reportedly stepped onto a balcony and fired several shots.

Just after 12:40 a.m. Wednesday, Martinez heard more shots as the BCSO swat team tried to enter the house.

"It was, like, maybe five shots and then maybe three additional shots with gaps in between," she said.

Two deputies suffered minor injuries in the gunfight, and the SWAT team pulled out as Macias targeted propane tanks he was apparently trying to set off to explode. 

All night long, from her porch, Martinez could hear negotiators trying to coax Macias out.

'"If you don't want to cooperate with us, at least let your mother out. Let us know that she's OK,'" she recalled them saying.

By the morning, the Sheriff's Office wasn't taking chances with safety. Sheriff Javier Salazar urged neighbors to stay away if they could and told them police would be evacuating those closest to the scene, which included Martinez and her husband.

"The officer said, 'We're doing a mandatory evacuation.' So I didn't have time to think. I just loaded up my dogs and we left," she said.

So Martinez missed the shots traded back and forth between Macias and DPS SWAT team members Wednesday afternoon and evening, though other neighbors were around to record it.

Ultimately, DPS SWAT team members entered the house and found Macias injured and his mother dead after suffering some trauma. Macias now faces a charge of attempted capital murder of a peace officer for allegedly shooting at the mental health deputies.

Martinez, who said she was worried for Macias's mother, did not get the ending she had hoped for, but she's back in her home now. 

"At least it's done with," Martinez said. "They got him and, you know, we can all go back to our lives, hopefully."

About the Author

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.

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