SAN ANTONIO – A 24-year-old man who authorities suspect was hallucinating from drugs barged into the Bexar County Elections Office on Friday morning moments after he had fired shots inside a nearby hotel room.
According to Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, Jouwan D. Williams Thomas jumped over the counter in the office on South Frio Street around 10 a.m. and said he was being chased. The suspect went into a secured area before a SWAT unit and other law enforcement personnel quickly arrived and apprehended the suspect. No injuries were reported.
While Thomas didn’t open fire inside the elections office, he did fire several shots of a 9mm handgun that penetrated into some rooms at a Quality Inn nearby, Salazar said. No injuries were reported at the hotel. Salazar said the suspect had a high-capacity magazine in the gun and a similar magazine in the hotel room.
Salazar said it was believed initially that Thomas fired shots because of a drug deal gone bad, but it now appears that he may have been suffering from a drug-induced incident. High-grade marijuana and possibly synthetic marijuana were found in the room.
Thomas had a felony warrant for a stolen vehicle, Salazar said.
State Sen. Jose Menendez was in the back of the elections office for a meeting with officials when the incident happened, Salazar said.
“They were pretty scared,” Salazar said of the election staff. “They locked down, sheltered in place. Kuddos to the elections staff.”
Salazar said there was no security at the elections office. He said he will station a deputy there for the next couple of days and get with elections officials about implementing some security measures.