Bodycam footage review reveals new details after officer shot, killed Darrell Zemault while serving warrants

Chief initially reported officer hit by can of wood stain

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police are changing some details from a preliminary report given by Chief William McManus after an officer shot and killed Darrell Wayne Zemault Sr. on Tuesday while trying to take him into custody on warrants. The new information comes after officials reviewed the bodycam footage, and Mayor Ron Nirenberg called for a review of the San Antonio Police Department’s camera policy.

McManus initially reported an officer had been hit with a can of wood stain during the incident in the 100 block of Willee.

The officer had a welt over his eye and was covered in the stain, police said. However, after the officer gave his statement, he wasn’t sure how he had gotten injured, and he wasn’t sure if Zemault had intentionally hit him with a can or if the contact was incidental to the arrest, police said in an incident report released Wednesday night.

SAPD says that interaction was not captured on the officer’s bodycam.

Police say three undercover Repeat Offender Program detectives and two uniformed officers went to look for Zemault Tuesday afternoon to arrest him on two active warrants -- a third-degree felony warrant for repeated violation of a court order/conditions of bond and a Class A misdemeanor warrant for assault bodily injury-married.

The five officers approached Zemault’s home, and one detective told him he was a police officer and was there to arrest him, officials said.

Police said Zemault did not comply with officers and argued with the detective. The detective told the uniformed officers to handcuff Zemault, officials said.

Officials say Zemault grabbed a can of wood stain and moved away from the officers and ignored their commands. They said he actively resisted the officers' efforts to place him in handcuffs.

The officers used physical force but were unsuccessful, police say. One of the uniformed officers then struck Zemault with a baton but was also unsuccessful in subduing him.

Police say the gun holster of one of the detectives fell to the ground, and as the officers struggled to take Zemault into custody, Zemault grabbed the gun and took it out of the holster.

Officials say a struggle for the gun ensued after a detective noticed Zemault had the weapon. They say Zemault had his finger on the trigger and was “manipulating the gun in an attempt to point it at the officers.”

As the struggle continued, officials say the detective called out to the other officers and alerted them that Zemault had a gun.

Another detective feared Zemault would shoot, and the detective fired one round into Zemault’s back, SAPD says.

Police then immediately called emergency medical services and retrieved the weapon.

Zemault died from his injuries after the shooting.

The investigation findings from SAPD will be submitted to the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office for an independent investigation.

About the Author:

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