Man charged with murder after SAPD mistakenly kills his common-law-wife during standoff

Angel Sanchez blamed for causing death of Neida Tijerina when officers shot him in self-defense, affidavit says

Victim ID’d, suspect hospitalized after body discovered following South Side standoff

SAN ANTONIO – A 28-year-old man has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of his 29-year-old common-law wife during a police standoff.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Angel Sanchez is blamed for the July 26 death of Neida Tijerina after he pointed a shotgun at San Antonio police officers, who then opened fire on the suspect. One of the bullets fired by the officers fatally wounded Tijerina, who was found inside her apartment in the 3100 block of Roosevelt Avenue. Tijerina’s three children, ages 11 and 5 years and 3 months old, were also inside the apartment but were not hurt.

The affidavit also shed more light on what happened that fateful night.

The court document said that Sanchez arrived at the apartment between 11 a.m. and noon on July 25 armed with a shotgun and a military-style ballistic vest, saying he was going to kill himself and Tijerina. Sanchez wouldn’t allow her and the children to leave, the document states.

The next day around 8 p.m., Tijerina told her 11-year-old to call 911, but the child could not tell the 911 operator anything because Sanchez threatened to kill the child, the affidavit said. At some point, Tijerina sent text messages and pictures from a security camera to a relative, who called 911.

Two officers arrived at the apartment complex and determined that they would need more help, the affidavit said. The two officers hid behind a shed, where they could see the door to Tijerina’s second-floor apartment.

At about 9:12 p.m., Sanchez stepped out of the apartment and pointed the shotgun toward where the officers were but then went back inside, the affidavit said. A SWAT and Negotiations Team soon arrived. Some officers armed with rifles positioned themselves on a rooftop that provided a direct line of sight to the apartment door.

At about 10:46 p.m., police were advised that Sanchez “was coming outside and wanted to die,” according to the affidavit. When he came out, the suspect pointed the shotgun at the two officers behind the shed, and that’s when the officers on the roof opened fire, the affidavit said. Sanchez was struck several times, and he fell just outside the apartment door. Officers took Sanchez away and secured the children, and that’s when they found Tijerina dead. An autopsy showed that Tijerina was killed by one of the officers, the affidavit said.

“Were it not for the defendant’s actions, the police officers would not have fired their weapons,” the affidavit said.

In addition to murder, Sanchez was charged with three counts of aggravated assault of a peace officer. He is still hospitalized.

Records show Sanchez has a lengthy criminal history. He was out on bond for an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon case that happened last August. He had to wear a GPS monitor as part of his bond agreement. Just six days before the standoff, an arrest warrant was issued for him after he took off the GPS device.

Tijerina’s funeral services are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

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David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.