Suspect accused of gunning down elementary school teacher on NW Side arrested, SAPD says

Mathew Thomas Wiessing, 25, was arrested Thursday

SAN ANTONIO – A 25-year-old man was arrested and charged with murder after San Antonio police said he shot an elementary school teacher outside of his Northwest Side apartment earlier this month.

Mathew Thomas Wiessing was taken into custody Thursday in connection with a fatal shooting that happened before 7 a.m. on March 10 at the Eckert Heights Apartments, in the 4800 block of Gus Eckert.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the victim, Michael Echaniz, 23, in the parking lot and he had several gunshot wounds in his upper extremity.

Police said he lived alone at that apartment complex and was a teacher at Great Hearts Forest Heights. Authorities believe Echaniz was trying to get inside of his vehicle when he was gunned down.

He was pronounced dead by EMS and witnesses told officers they saw an individual in a black hoodie running from the scene.

As the investigation continued, SAPD received a tip from one of Wiessing’s family members, sharing information on the murder and confirming that he was involved.

Police said they located Wiessing and conducted a traffic stop on March 10. He agreed to talk with officers but during the interview, he was evasive and didn’t answer many questions, SAPD said.

Pictured is Matthew Thomas Wissing, 25. (KSAT)

Wiessing was later released, as police said they didn’t have enough evidence in the case, nor probable cause.

Homicide investigators collected surveillance video, which showed Wiessing going to the crime scene and fleeing after the shooting occurred.

Further evidence was collected and SAPD was able to obtain an arrest warrant for Wiessing. On Thursday, he was taken into custody without incident for Echaniz’s murder.

Authorities believe Wiessing’s motive stemmed from Echaniz dating his ex-girlfriend after their relationship ended several months ago.

One of Wiessing’s relatives told police that he “had been taking the breakup poorly” and was leaving at odd hours of the day and night, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

The relative also stated that on the day of the homicide, Wiessing returned home and washed a dark-colored hoodie, the affidavit states.

A 9mm handgun was believed to be used in the fatal shooting, though officials haven’t yet recovered the weapon.

MURDER ARREST: Homicide detectives have made an arrest in the March 10, 2022 murder of Michael Echaniz that occurred at...

Posted by San Antonio Police Department on Thursday, March 24, 2022

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About the Authors:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.