Wife of man accused of killing club-wielding man in self-defense recounts what led up to shooting

Shooter taken into police custody

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SAN ANTONIO – The wife of a man who was taken into San Antonio police custody after he shot and killed a man in what the couple says was self-defense is detailing what led to the shooting.

The shooting happened in the 1900 block of Northwest 19th Street.

Elaine Casillas said it started from a rude awakening.

“It was just a lot of loud honking, and at first, I thought it was just normal traffic, like normal rush hour traffic for school. He was honking forever, at least 20-30 honks. So then, I go and check. It is him. I turned around to my husband who was getting ready to take my son to school and said, ‘Call the cops right now,’” Casillas said.

RELATED: Club-wielding man fatally shot by West Side homeowner, San Antonio police say

Casillas said the man who showed up was the stepfather of a 21-year-old man her daughter was dating. She said the two families have a strained relationship. San Antonio police said the man was going to pick up his stepson.

“They are not to be on the property, and the police have already told them not to be trespassing. I said, ‘You need to tell him to leave because there is no reason for him to be here,’” Casillas said “We told him where they needed to go — they have boundaries — and that he needed to go pick his stepson up over at the park because of the situation they cause every time they come.”

Casillas said nobody in the house was expecting the man’s stepfather to show up. She said she doesn’t know what triggered his actions.

“We told him he needed to leave, and he rolled down the window and started cussing and saying horrible things,” Casillas said. “He was like Superman, coming out of his truck racing and pushing the gate and making his way into my gate, opening the door and pushing us, and we are shoving him back out, (saying), ‘Get out of our house!’”

She said at that moment, the man allegedly pulled her husband out and the two began to fight on the front porch. Police said the man was swinging a club at them.

“I tried to break them up, but he was so tall. I was hit with his fist to my face, and I am 5 feet 2 inches. He is 6 feet 3 inches. He kept hitting my husband with the club. His glasses were broken. It was just uncalled for. He didn’t need to come over here. This could have all been avoided,” Casillas said.

Casillas said things then took a deadly turn.

“I just remember a faint ‘pop.’ I was still dazed and lost consciousness,” Casillas said. “When I got up and I just turned around … (the stepfather) was there, and he passed.”

Casillas said she was on the phone with 911 the entire time.

“I was freaking out the entire time, screaming on the phone, trying to get them to hurry up,” Casillas said. “I told them, ‘Hurry up! He is shot!”

When first responders got to the scene, Casillas was taken to the hospital, where she said she suffered from a contusion from being hit. She said her husband, who was taken into custody, was bruised up, as well.

“My daughter and his stepson just got up late,” Casillas said. “I asked them, ‘Was he supposed to be here?’ They said no. His stepson was supposed to meet him elsewhere. He was supposed to pick him up at the park where they usually meet. I guess since (the stepson) wasn’t there. He decided to take it out on us. We could have resolved this.”

Casillas said she and her husband are beyond troubled by the incident.

“My husband did not want to do that,” Casillas said. “He is sorry. He is hurting mentally right now. It is killing him. He never wanted to have to use a gun ever to hurt anybody else.”

She said though she fears this loss will only damage the relationship more between the two families, she hopes they can somehow find peace.

“To his daughters, I want to say I know what it is like to lose a father,” Casillas said through tears. “My father died from stage 4 liver cancer four years ago. I was once in your shoes but make your shoes your own. Don’t let hate to bring you down."

“Some people can forgive and love again, and some can hate and not forgive,” she said. “I understand you are going to have to live with this for the rest of your lives, but know your father is always going to be your guardian angel.”

She also had some words of wisdom for the man’s sons, as well.

“Be men of God and don’t be men of the world,” Casillas said. “He wouldn’t have wanted that for you. I know we have already had threats of retaliation, but he wouldn’t want to see you locked up for something he caused as a grown man.”

The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office has yet to identify the man, but his family reached out to KSAT and identified him as Esteven Barbosa. They said Barbosa was a U.S. Marine who was honorably discharged. They also said that though Casillas and police said Barbosa was swinging a club, they believe that accusation to be false, stating that he was defending himself and his son in his truck.

It's unclear if the shooter will face charges, as investigators still have to determine if the shooting was justified.

"We have to look at it," McManus said.

The homeowner was detained and is speaking to police.

About the Author:

Japhanie Gray is a reporter with KSAT12 News.