Neighbor believes family was targeted following murder, home invasion on city's North Side

Neighbor: 'I just told my parents, keep an eye out'

By Mary Claire Patton - Digital Content Curator, RJ Marquez - Digital Content Curator, Courtney Friedman - VJ, Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - An arrest affidavit has revealed more details of a deadly home invasion and ambush on the near North Side that involved multiple individuals and has resulted in a second arrest.

Paul Sambrano, 29, has been charged with murder after his alleged involvement in the fatal shooting of Roy Ponce on July 30 at a home in the 2200 block of Basse Road during an attempted robbery, the affidavit stated. Ponce, 26, was found dead inside the home with a gunshot wound following an altercation with three male suspects.

A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, told KSAT he believes the home was targeted. 

"They moved in like two years ago (around) 2016. They had probation officers and constables coming towards that house every, every single month. Nice cars and all that stuff, a lot of pit bulls," the neighbor said. "I just told my parents, keep an eye out."

According to the affidavit, Ponce arrived at the home on the night of July 30 with an unidentified female witness and a juvenile witness. The trio said the door was locked when arriving at the home.

The victims then barricaded the door with fear from another home invasion the night before. Ponce then allegedly walked down the hall towards his bedroom and yelled, “Oh, s—t!” the affidavit stated.

Three suspects, one of whom police said is a juvenile, were allegedly waiting inside the home, according to the affidavit. The female witness with Ponce told police she believed the three suspects stole the keys to the home the day prior during the home invasion.

The female witness also told police she saw one suspect come out of the bedroom and grab Ponce, trying to unsuccessfully steal his bracelet. She told police a second suspect came out of the laundry room with a large gun and that she recognized that man as one of the people involved in the home invasion the day before.

The juvenile witness told police he heard gunshots and one suspect yell, “Joel get him,” according to the affidavit.

The juvenile witness was able to positively identify Joel James Sambrano, 18, as the man with the gun, the affidavit stated.

After Paul Sambrano was arrested Monday, he told police Joel is his younger brother. The affidavit did not state if Joel Sambrano has been arrested.

KSAT had previously reported that two people were taken into custody the night of the murder but they have not yet been identified.

An SAPD officer, responding to gunshots in the area, spotted a suspect vehicle in an alley behind the home. A person was seen on the officer’s vehicle video system running from the vehicle in the alley.

The neighbor said his dad saw several people running away from the home to a nearby vehicle.

"My dad actually saw them taking off, running towards the car, the getaway car. He saw them say, 'Come on, let's go, let's go.' That’s when they took off in the alley," the neighbor said. "(My dad) saw the officer coming towards (them) on Basse and that’s when they started chasing them."

The affidavit stated the suspect car then sped off and the officer pursued the vehicle. The officer stopped the vehicle near Interstate 10 at West Avenue and took the driver, identified as Paul Sambrano, into custody. The officer also noticed the juvenile suspect with a gunshot wound to the leg. 

Paul Sambrano was transported to the homicide office for questioning and told investigators that he dropped off the wounded juvenile suspect at Ponce’s home to meet a woman, but claimed two young males were waiting for him. He said he drove around the area for up to 45 minutes and later saw the juvenile suspect crawl out of the alley with a gunshot wound in his leg before he picked him up.

The affidavit did not state how the juvenile suspect was wounded. The juvenile was also not identified, but was taken into custody at the time, police said.

Surveillance video from multiple locations also showed the suspect vehicle near the home minutes before the shooting occurred.

Paul Sambrano was arrested on Monday night in the 500 block of N. General McMullen and has been charged with capital murder, according to Bexar County booking records.

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