Police release more details, ask for help finding suspect who shot, killed UIW student on I-35

Suspect was vehicle seen driving erratically near the crime scene

SELMA, Texas – San Antonio police are asking the public for help finding the person who shot and killed a University of the Incarnate Word student earlier this month when he was driving home from a military ball.

Joseph Banales, 22, was driving home around 11:45 p.m. on April 15 in the 15400 block of IH 35 N, near the Forum when police say the driver of another vehicle shot Banales in the head.

The shot appears to have been fired through the driver’s side window, according to police.

Selma police were able to identify a vehicle of interest during the investigation following the shooting and identified it as a possible Nissan 350Z/370Z.

The suspect vehicle is described as a dark-in-color, possibly blue, sports car, with aftermarket loud exhaust and possibly a spoiler.

Witnesses told police the suspect vehicle was seen driving erratically near the crime scene.

Police did not confirm a motive for the shooting but Banales’ family believes it may be a road rage incident.

Banales’ godmother, Lisa Amato, previously told KSAT was driving home after dropping his girlfriend at her house following a military ball.

“His girlfriend was on the phone with him. She heard the engine rev up and heard a bang, and then the phone went dead. His foot went off the accelerator, and he hit the median,” said Amato. “Police have a partial plate number description of the car. We’re hoping that with the media publicity that they’ll find who did this because that person got to go home to his family and Joseph didn’t.”

Banales was a member of the ROTC program at UIW along with his twin sister.

“If anybody has any information we would really appreciate you coming forward because the shooter needs to be brought to justice,” Amato said. “It’s very difficult to know this man or woman is out there still living their life while we are grappling with Jospeh’s death and how to bury him.”

The family has started a scholarship in Joseph’s name at Security Service Federal Credit Union if anyone is interested in donating.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that leads to the identification and location of the suspect(s) responsible for the killing.

A reward of up to $5,000 may be paid for information that leads to a felony arrest for the crime.

Crime Stoppers pays rewards in cash but only for anonymous, crime-solving tips submitted directly to Crime Stoppers and that concern information not previously provided to or known by law enforcement.

Call CRIME STOPPERS at 210-224-STOP (210-224-7867) or download the P3 Tips App in the App Store or Google Play.

Tips can also be submitted by text — send “Tip 127 plus your tip” to CRIMES (274637).

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.