SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio city leaders who spoke with KSAT 12 News offered their condolences to 28-year-old Kevin Johnson’s family after he was shot and killed by officers, which led to a tense confrontation between the crowd and police. However, they chose to withhold further comment until the details are confirmed and the body cam footage is released.
Johnson’s family at the scene on Monday said witnesses had told them he had been shot nine times in the back. SAPD Chief William McManus said Johnson pulled a gun out of his waistband as he ran away.
WATCH: Family, friends gather to remember Kevin Johnson
Until he’s seen the body cam footage, McManus had said at the scene, “At what point the officers shot, I don’t know.”
Officials said Johnson had a felony warrant for being a felon in possession of a firearm, stemming from an incident last month in which Johnson met up with two friends and fired his gun in the air. Records state Johnson had multiple previous felony convictions, including a 2019 charge of assault on a public servant, which prohibited him from possessing firearms.
Police had said Johnson was also wanted on a past case for assaulting a peace officer. KSAT only found one active warrant in our search.
City leaders said they’re still waiting for more information on Johnson’s case.
“I don’t have any comment on it until we get the investigation completed and I get the facts,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.
Mario Bravo, who represents District 1 on the city council, also said, “I want to make sure that everything was done as it should be. I’m going to stay on top of the situation, stay informed, make sure the community gets all the information they need.”
Bravo said the incident occurred near where his district and District 5 meet on the city’s West Side.
Bravo’s District 5 colleague, Teri Castillo, said, “It’s unfortunate that someone lost their life, but it’s important that we wait to hear the details on what occurred and took place yesterday.”
Melissa Cabello Havrda, who represents District 6 and chairs the city council’s Public Safety Committee, said, “As a citizen of the city, having grown up here, I want to make sure that our citizens feel safe and that our officers can are able to do their work and supporting both our community and our officers as part of the community.”
Act4SA, a grassroots agency that works to reimagine public safety in San Antonio, issued the following statement:
“Yesterday afternoon, SAPD opened fire on 28 year old Kevin Johnson in broad daylight allegedly striking him nine times in the back. ACT 4 SA is extending their sincerest condolences to Arlene Garcia, Jasmine Johnson, and the rest of Kevin’s family and offer our support in any way we can. We are ready to mobilize.
“Kevin was running from officers chasing him for outstanding warrants when three separate SAPD officers in pursuit opened fire, excessively striking him nine times. No matter what the circumstances are, no person deserves to be murdered by firing squad when they are running in fear of their life.
“This also raises questions of why SAPD chose to shoot an armed Black man nine times in the back when Bexar County deputies were able to tase and arrest a white man who was not only armed, but dressed in full tactical armor as he was stealing a vehicle only two days before. He was reaching in his pocket when he was tased.
“SAPD’s “Us vs. Them” mentality crosses the boundaries of excessive policing. We are extremely disappointed to learn that they pepper sprayed mourners and family members of the victim including the victim’s mother who is currently battling breast cancer.
“Yesterday’s response from the community makes it apparent that we are tired of excessive abuse coming from San Antonio law enforcement agencies.
“Finally, this is a grim, blatant example of the need to reform SAPD body camera policy to release critical incident body camera footage sooner than 60 days. For context, the Austin Police Department has a 10-day policy and the same size police department as our own. Dallas, with the second largest police force in the state, has a 72-hour window.
“The Johnson Family deserves to know what happened to Kevin. We are calling on Chief McManus to release the body cam footage within the next 72 hours for accountability and transparency to both Kevin’s family and the community.”