Thousands of domestic violence calls pose danger for SAPD officers

Two officers were shot after responding to a family violence call Thursday night

SAN ANTONIO – Two San Antonio Police Officers are recovering in the hospital after being shot last night while responding to a family violence call.

The department responds to thousands of domestic violence-related calls each year, and they’re some of the most dangerous calls officers respond to every day.

Police Chief William McManus describes calls for domestic and family violence as volatile, dangerous, and emotional.

Thursday night, two San Antonio police officers were shot while responding to a call for domestic violence on the city’s Northeast Side.

“We’re very fortunate tonight that we didn’t have the two initial officers killed, and we didn’t have the officers who went in to extract them injured,” Chief William McManus said.

The chief says they were called when 40-year-old Jesus Prado allegedly came to pick up his children and got into a fight with his wife.

Bexar County Court Records show she filed for divorce in March.

McManus says Prado started dumping gasoline in the home. When officers arrived, Prado began shooting at them.

“Officers arrived on the scene, and they went into a very, very hot zone,” McManus said.

SAPD provided KSAT Investigates data on Monday. Between 2022 and so far in 2023, there have been 67,895 calls for domestic or family violence, 2,328 of which involved a weapon like a gun or a knife.

As we get closer to the end of 2023, the number of calls SAPD has been dispatched to has dropped from 39,370 to 28,525 so far.

“It’s been constant. It’s not something new that’s arisen today or yesterday,” said Capt. Rene Gallegos with the Special Victims Unit.

Gallegos responds to these types of calls every day. He said there’s added danger when the suspect has access to the home.

“Your chances of it happening again or escalating are huge. So we are always correlating. We’re always worrying about family violence and a high correlates to our murder numbers,” Gallegos said.

Friday morning, Prado went before a judge to find out his charges.

“You have two separate charges of attempted capital murder of a police officer. They’re both first-degree felonies. Bond is set at one million dollars on each of these charges,” the judge told Prado.

With an additional charge of deadly conduct with a firearm, Prado’s bond has been set at $3 million.

A check of Bexar County Court records shows Prado had no prior criminal history in the county.

Just this week, San Antonio Police announced an open house focusing on domestic violence alongside its partners at Metro Health.

That’ll be held Wednesday at all police substations. Resources for victims and guidance on the legal process will be offered.

About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.