2 of 3 SAPD officers charged with murder of woman have multiple past suspensions

Sgt. Alfred Flores has been suspended 4 previous times; Officer Eleazar Alejandro 3 times

SAN ANTONIO – Two of the three San Antonio Police Department officers who were charged with murder last month have multiple past suspensions, records obtained by KSAT show.

Sgt. Alfred Flores, Officer Eleazar Alejandro and Officer Nathaniel Villalobos were charged with murder after opening fire on 46-year-old Melissa Perez at her Southwest Side apartment on June 23.

All three officers were temporarily suspended, pending termination, and have since posted bond.

The newly released records reveal that Flores and Alejandro both have multiple suspensions in the past five years.

Flores has been suspended four previous times for a total of 43 days and Alejandro had three past suspensions for a total of 42 days.

Flores has served with the police department for 14 years, Alejandro for five years and Villalobos for two years, SAPD Chief William McManus said last month.

Hours after the shooting, McManus said the officers didn’t follow department training or policy and “used deadly force, which was not reasonable given all the circumstances as we now understand them.”

Perez was experiencing a mental health crisis and had a hammer in her hand when police shot her through a patio window and door at her Southwest Side apartment, McManus said.

The past suspensions

Flores suspended 10 days in February 2018

Flores was given a contemplated indefinite suspension on Sept 30, 2017. His suspension was then reduced to 10 days on Feb. 1, 2018.

On June 8, 2017, Flores was involved in an off-duty disturbance at a home. He yelled profanities at someone in the home, according to the suspension documents.

“Officer Flores’ actions did not conform to the ordinary and reasonable rules of good conduct and behavior and/or brought reproach and discredit on himself and the San Antonio Police Department,” suspension paperwork stated.

The documents said Flores also went home while on duty and left his assigned section on June 6, June 7 and June 8, 2017. He did not receieve authorization from a supervisor to leave his assigned patrol section, according to the suspension paperwork.

Flores suspended 8 days in October 2019

Flores was initially suspended for 14 days on Sept. 20, 2019. But his suspension was later reduced to eight days on Oct. 15, 2019.

The officer was suspended for claiming to not hear another officer’s calls for assistance on April 25, 2019, during a loud music disturbance call.

Flores was the nearest available cover officer — less than a mile away — when the responding officer called for back up, saying he was outnumbered.

Flores never responded to the call and reported he was on the phone with a local pharmacy and had the radio turned down, the paperwork states.

One day before, suspension paperwork states Flores grossly exceeded the speed limit multiple times without authorization. During the same time frame, he also reportedly took more than the permitted number of coffee and lunch breaks during his regular tour of duty between 5 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Flores suspended 15 days in July 2020

Flores was suspended for 15 days on July 2, 2020.

Suspension documents state that on-duty officers were assigned to a shooting call around 6:50 p.m. on Dec. 29, 2019, in the 5200 block of South Flores Street.

Flores, who had been on a previous call before the shooting call, admitted he left the substation at 6:51 p.m. to get something to eat. The paperwork states he failed to notify the dispatcher of his return to service upon the completion of the initial call.

“He left his assigned area for a purpose not related to his duties without supervisor authorization; and he did not act together with other officers dispatched to the shooting in progress where danger might reasonably be impending when he was able to respond to the shooting but drove further away...” according to the documents.

Flores suspended 10 days in August 2021

Flores was suspended 10 days on Aug. 17, 2021.

On March 11, 2021, Flores dispatched to Holiday Inn Express and Suites at 8222 City Base Landing for a report of narcotics found, where he took custody of two purses, two backpacks and a gray laptop bag, paperwork states.

Bodycam video showed him putting the bags in the back of his patrol vehicle and then driving to the parking lot of Brooks Spay and Neuter Clinic, located at 8034 City-Base Landing, suspension documents state.

Flores searched the bags and found a large amount of marijuana inside the backpacks and the laptop bag. He then went back to the hotel and returned the bags to the hotel, and the methamphetamine found in the room and marijuana in the bags were placed in the SAPD property room.

On April 21, 2021, another officer who was driving the same patrol vehicle found the gray laptop bag that had more than $1,850 in cash, according to SAPD suspension documents.

Further investigation found Flores drove the same unit 14 different times, with his bodycam showing the bag in the back of the vehicle during 14 different calls for service. The bag was left in the back of the patrol vehicle for an extended period of 30 days before the other officer found it.

Additionally, during the March call, Flores muted his bodycam and failed to verbally document the muting and also did not document that he had muted it in his report. He did not document a reason for muting the bodycam, paperwork states.

Alejandro suspended 2 days in March 2020

Officer Alejandro was initially suspended for 15 days, but it was reduced to a two-day suspension. He was served with the suspension in March 2020.

On Sept. 16, 2019, Alejandro was flagged down to respond to a fight in the 2100 block of Roosevelt Avenue. He was seen attempting to take one of the males involved in the fight into custody and heard using profanity on his bodycam, suspension paperwork states.

As Alejandro exited his vehicle, one of the males involved in the fight ran inside a home. Moments later, a resident allowed Alejandro to go inside the home.

During the search, Alejandro found a locked door and kicked it down to get access, causing damage, according to SAPD documents.

Alejandro suspended 15 days in June 2020

Alejandro was served with a 15-day suspension on June 9, 2020.

SAPD paperwork states Alejandro was called to the 200 block of Yuma on Nov. 16, 2019, for a two-vehicle crash.

One driver told Alejandro that he did not have a valid driver’s license, nor did he have proof of insurance. The driver also had two active warrants with the Municipal Court, SAPD said.

The driver was not arrested for the active warrants, and the vehicle was not impounded despite not being insured.

Alejandro stated in a report on Dec. 1, 2019: “I made a decision to not tow nor cite the driver so he could pay the damages he caused in the accident.”

“Alejandro participated in making arrangements between the parties involved in the accident, which led to the unlicensed driver with no insurance not being arrested for the warrants and not being issued citations for the traffic violations, thereby escaping the penalty of law,” the suspension documents stated.

The driver also had a 30-day temporary paper tag that had expired. SAPD said Alejandro did not issue citations to the unlicensed driver and did not arrest for the outstanding warrants.

In his report, two passengers who fled the scene were not listed on the crash report as passengers. The unlicensed driver was listed as having a driver’s license, and the vehicle was listed as having been towed, but there was no record of the vehicle being towed, according to SAPD paperwork.

Additionally, the crash report was not submitted before the end of his shift but 12 days after responding to the crash, SAPD reports.

Alejandro suspended 25 days in August 2020

Alejandro was served a 25-day suspension on Aug. 13, 2020.

The officer was called to the 7200 block of SW Loop 410 to a Walmart after a loss prevention officer told him she had detained a female who was seen eating food merchandise, removing tags from clothing before wearing it and tried to hide other merchandise.

Alejandro’s bodycam showed he gave her a chance to return the items or pay for them despite having probable cause to arrest the woman, SAPD reports. He also reportedly denied assistance from an on-site female officer to search the woman.

“Officer Alejandro failed to take prompt and effective police action when he made no effort to arrest the female for Theft, and instead initiated the arrest after the female refused to sign a Criminal Trespass Warning document provided by Walmart Loss Prevention,” the suspension paperwork stated.

Alejandro was also heard on the bodycam telling the suspect: “It’s time to go. I’m being real nice about it and I can be an a**h***, but I want to be real nice today.”

CONTEXT: Read more about discipline at the San Antonio Police Department in this KSAT Investigation ‘Broken Blue’

The shooting of Melissa Perez and release of bodycam video

The shooting happened around 2 a.m. Friday, June 23, at the Rosemont at Miller’s Pond apartments, located in the 6200 block of Old Pearsall Road.

The department released a portion of edited and blurred body-worn camera video from officers on the scene Friday night. KSAT has requested all footage from the incident.

Police were called for a report of a woman, later identified as Perez, destroying property at the complex. According to Chief McManus, Perez was having a mental health crisis and cutting wires through a fire alarm system to the complex.

When officers arrived, Perez was speaking with San Antonio Fire Department crews in the parking lot. As they approached her, she ran back to her apartment and locked the door, McManus said.

Police tried to speak with Perez through a window, but she threw a glass candle at an officer, striking him in the arm, McManus said.

Officers Flores, Alejandro and Villalobos moved toward the back patio of Perez’s apartment and unsuccessfully attempted to coax Perez outside.

Two of the three officers jumped the railing onto the patio, and spoke to Perez through a window and door.

McManus said the window was open but officers removed the screen. He said they were investigating the incident as felony criminal mischief.

One of the officers said Perez picked up a hammer and was “approaching them from inside,” McManus said.

She swung the hammer toward the officers and broke the window separating her apartment from the patio, McManus said.

One of the officers shot at Perez, but McManus said it didn’t appear she was struck.

Perez went toward the window again, still carrying the hammer, and that’s when all three officers opened fire, according to McManus. Perez was hit at least two times.

Police forced their way inside the apartment and provided medical assistance until EMS arrived, McManus said.

Perez died from her injuries at the scene.

“Our condolences to Melissa Perez’s entire family, I want to ensure her daughter that this incident will continue to be thoroughly investigated,” McManus said.

There is not currently a timeline for the conclusion of the investigation, he said.

The cases have been assigned to the Civil Rights Division of the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, which will review the evidence and prepare the cases for presentation to a grand jury.

Danny Diaz, president of the San Antonio Police Officers’ Association released the following statement regarding the incident:

On behalf of the San Antonio Police Officers’ Association, we express our deepest condolences to Melissa Perez’s family. Following the tragic incident, Chief McManus followed all necessary protocols. All three officers have been suspended indefinitely. At this time, this is an active investigation, and cannot speak to the matter further until the investigation is complete and judicial process is underway.

There are three separate investigations underway since the murder charges were filed — by SAPD’s Internal Affairs and Homicide units and the Bexar County District Attorney’s Civil Rights Division.

Who is Melissa Perez?

Pictured is 46-year-old Melissa Perez. (Image provided by Packard Law Firm)

Alexis Tovar, Perez’s daughter, released a statement through her attorney, Dan Packard, to ABC News.

“We have always been a pro-police family. This breaks my heart. I always trusted the police to protect me and now I don’t know who to trust. We can’t express how hurt we are,” Tovar’s statement said.

Packard Law Firm also released an image of Perez.

Ruben Veloz, who lives next door to Perez, said he didn’t really know anything was wrong until he left for work hours later.

“I was asleep,” he told KSAT. “I looked over, I saw windows broken and I was just, like, ‘Ok, what’s going on?’”

Both Veloz and another neighbor said they were shocked to hear that Perez was dead, and wondered what could have led to the shooting.

“I don’t know, like, the whole story of what happened, but to me she was always nice. I don’t know about everybody else,” Veloz said.

Read more on Melissa Perez and San Antonio police officers charged with murder:

About the Authors:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.