Chaotic scene of confusion, terror described by witnesses' 911 calls

911 calls played in court as Manuel Garcia's capital murder trial begins

By Paul Venema - Reporter, Adam B. Higgins - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - A total of 19, often frantic, 911 calls were played for a jury Tuesday as the capital murder trial of Manuel Garcia began.

Garcia, 44, is accused of carjacking a car and speeding along several streets on the East Side before he randomly ran over pedestrians the night of Feb. 18, 2015.

"On that day, this defendant brought terror to the Eastside of San Antonio," prosecutor Gretchen Flader told the jury during her opening arguments.

"This guy was going up on the sidewalk and running people over," a caller told the 911 operator.

"He ran them over, and then he ran them over again, and then he took off," another caller said. 

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A camera on a VIA bus captured a portion of the deadly rampage. The video was played for the jury as bus passengers could be heard screaming in horror.

Garcia was arrested as he tried to escape on foot after he ran a red light and was struck by a truck.

"Even trying to sort through the 911 calls, it was chaotic, as there were so many," Detective Timm Angell, of the San Antonio Police Department, said on the witness stand. "There was so much information flowing in. It just didn't stabilize until much later that night."

If Garcia is found guilty of capital murder, he faces life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Testimony will continue Wednesday in Judge Frank Castro's 399th District Court.

WATCH: In-depth court coverage from Paul Venema 

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