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Neighbors: Innocent bystander shot dead at Southeast apartment complex was ‘good man’

Bullets also hit second man asleep in his home; 20-year-old man arrested on murder charge

SAN ANTONIO – It didn’t take notification from police to tell neighbors the identity of a man who was killed early Wednesday at their apartment complex on the southeast side of San Antonio.

They shared the news among themselves.

They all told KSAT 12 News that the victim, who was in his 40s, was a “good man” who often helped them by doing odd jobs, such as washing their cars.

The neighbors stood around hours later, stunned by what they said was only the latest violence to erupt around them.

Some said they fear for their own safety after what happened.

San Antonio police officers happened to be in the area of Pecan Valley Road and East Southcross shortly before 4 a.m., when gunfire rang out in the apartment complex.

Jiovanni Aristseo Ponce Benjamin is seen in a 2017 photo. Benjamin has been charged with murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon following a shooting on Wednesday, Sept. 16 in the 4600 block of Pecan Valley.
Jiovanni Aristseo Ponce Benjamin is seen in a 2017 photo. Benjamin has been charged with murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon following a shooting on Wednesday, Sept. 16 in the 4600 block of Pecan Valley. (KSAT)

Officers said they found Jiovanni Ponce Benjamin 20, crouched down behind a building, not far from the victim’s body, wearing a bulletproof vest and holding an automatic rifle.

Officers soon found out there was a second victim, a man who had been asleep inside his own second floor apartment. He was struck in the back side by a bullet that pierced his wall and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Investigators determined that neither he nor the man who was killed were the intended targets of the shootings.

According to police at the scene, Benjamin had been involved in an earlier fight with someone else. He then returned to the apartment complex and took part in a gun battle with other people, officers said. At some point, Benjamin shot the innocent bystander, believing he was someone else, investigators said.

Police took Benjamin in for questioning and later arrested him on charges of murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

It is unclear if investigators are looking for the other people involved in the fight and whether they will face charges.


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