SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said a man who led law enforcement officers on a chase in Atascosa and Bexar counties Tuesday morning before he was shot near an elementary school has been declared dead at a local hospital.
He was identified as Felix Santos, 48. Salazar said Santos has been declared dead but is on life support while his organs are being preserved for potential donation.
Two deputies who fired their weapons are on administrative leave pending an investigation.
One of the deputies is a 30-year veteran and the other is a 7-year veteran of BCSO, Salazar said during a Wednesday afternoon press conference.
Santos has past criminal convictions and ties to organized crime, said Salazar.
The sheriff said his deputies “defended themselves honorably,” after Santos opened fire at them.
He said the deputies were wearing body cameras and some of the patrol vehicles had dash cameras that captured the incident and said the video will be part of the investigation of the shooting.
The chase started around 10 a.m. in Pleasanton, south of San Antonio, on Tuesday when police tried to pull over a pickup truck to arrest the driver, Santos, who was wanted on a parole violation for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Santos stopped the truck and, along with at least one passenger, got out of the pickup.
But Santos suddenly got back in it and drove off and a chase ensued, Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward said on Tuesday.
As the pickup approached Interstate 37 and Highway 97, the driver shot at officers from the vehicle, Soward said.
Moments later, the pickup truck went through some spikes that BCSO deputies had planted near Highway 181 and I-37 in hopes of disabling the vehicle.
While the spikes flattened both of the driver’s side tires, the suspect drove into Bexar County on I-37 and then into Highway 90, where at some point he fired shots at law enforcement officers again, Garcia said.
The suspect then drove to the intersection of Dumont and Springvale, where he got out of the pickup and shot at BCSO deputies and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, Garcia said.
The deputies and troopers fired back, hitting the man several times in the upper torso, Garcia said.
None of the law enforcement officers were injured.
Allen Elementary School and Rayburn Middle School were placed under lockdown for a time due to the incident.
The suspect’s passenger was taken in for questioning and was released.