SAN ANTONIO, TX – Surprise appeared to be a key part of the plan as a SWAT team and agents wearing vests with the word “ICE” on the back of them stormed a duplex northwest of downtown early Wednesday morning.
Instead, neighbors in the 1500 block of Pasadena Street say they were surprised and startled by the commotion around 6 a.m.
“I just saw a big old light flash into my house and we felt the shake and everything,” said Lisa Jimenez, who lives across the street from the duplex.
Initially, she said, she thought a bomb had gone off, then her children heard what they thought were gunshots.
She quickly called 911.
“We just all went down and I got everybody in the hallway,” Jimenez said. “I got up slowly after I called the cops. They’re like, ‘go look.’”
Jimenez said when she peeked through her window, she got an eyeful.
She saw a team of SWAT officers and others moving in toward the duplex.
“They went running in with all their guns and everything, and they surrounded the whole house,” she said. “I didn't see them arrest anybody either.”
What she did see, hours later, was the damage left behind by the raid. The home now has shattered windows and a broken door.
Only one half of the duplex is occupied, Jimenez said.
However, she said the agents appeared to be focused on the side that has been vacant for months.
They also spent some time digging through a pickup parked in the backyard.
Outside the vacant section of the duplex were scraps of old metal and wood, alongside empty paint buckets.
Jimenez said the owner of the property had crews working on the vacant side for weeks, trying to get it ready for rental.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson sent KSAT the following statement:
“On Jan. 15, in San Antonio, Texas, during the execution of a criminal arrest warrant issued by a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, a male target failed to comply with an ICE officer’s lawful command. After several attempts were made to get the target to comply with the warrant and officer instructions, ICE officers were left with no choice, but to physically remove the subject from his residence.”
The spokesperson did not say whether the agency would pay for repairs to the home.