‘Don’t shoot me’: Deputy shoots man after believing he had weapon, officials say

Deputy-involved shooting happened in 1000 block of Rockport Road

BEXAR COUNTY – The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a deputy pulled over a man for speeding and later shot him in the abdomen in South Bexar County.

The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when a deputy who was working for the selective traffic enforcement program, or STEP, stopped a man in the 1000 block of Rockport Road.

The man stopped has been identified as Mario Espinosa Jr., 39.

Ronald Bennett, assistant chief deputy of law enforcement, said the man told the deputy he did not have a driver's license but instead gave him an ID.

Bennett said the man was later found to have an active felony and a misdemeanor warrant.

"The deputy approached the driver and explained to him, 'You have a warrant for your arrest.' And at this point, the passenger starts to get very fidgety and jumping around," Bennett said.

When the deputy tried to arrest the man, Bennett said, the man began to also act strangely.

"(The driver) gets out, gets back in, tries to drive away, stops and then gets back out again and tells the officer, 'Don't shoot me. Don't shoot me,'" Bennett said.

Bennett said the deputy had his weapon drawn at the man and fired at him when the man dived "head first into the side of the truck." The deputy believed the man was going to retrieve a weapon, officials said.

The man was taken to San Antonio Military Medical Center and is in stable condition, Bennett said.

Investigators are actively processing the scene and searching the truck for a possible weapon. The deputy, the passenger and a witness were taken in for questioning.

The deputy, a 25-year veteran, will be placed on routine administrative leave for 10 days after pending the outcome of the investigation.

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