SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio’s police chief appears to be at his wits’ end regarding a streak of gun violence in the city, including an incident early Friday morning in which dozens of shots were fired at some of his officers.
Since last weekend, there have been nearly a dozen shootings in the city.
That includes a brazen shooting at North Star mall last Sunday. Police said a man who was getting his hair cut at a barbershop was shot dead in what they believe was a targeted attack.
“It seems at the slightest provocation people are pulling guns on each other and not afraid to use them. And I don’t know what’s causing that. I’ve not seen anything like this,” McManus said, talking to reporters after the Friday morning shootings.
Addressing that incident, he said officers suddenly found themselves under heavy fire from a man in an apartment in the 4800 block of Ray Bon Drive.
The officers had shown up there around 2 a.m. after getting a call that the man had shot and killed his roommate.
McManus said the suspect opened fire on the first officer who arrived, pelting his patrol car with dozens of rounds of gunfire.
“He stood in his doorway and fired 40 rounds into that vehicle,” he said. “The officer was taking cover behind a dumpster.”
Within minutes, backup arrived but the shooting continued. One officer managed to fire back, but did not hit the suspect, McManus said.
The police department later shared photos of several patrol cars, riddled with bullet holes and left looking more like Swiss cheese.
People who live in the area were evacuated for their safety during the shooting. McManus says the suspect was firing wildly.
Fred Serra, who had gone out earlier in the evening for a good time, arrived home to the chaos and had to remain outdoors for hours.
“There was almost a fight at the bar, but that isn’t anything compared to this,” Serra said. “I’ve never seen this many cops out like this.”
Although the hectic scene caused an inconvenience for him and his neighbors, Serra said the sound of gunshots did not frighten him. “Honestly, me being from Chicago, it’s not really a worry to me as much,” he said.
Eventually, members of SAPD’s SWAT team were able to fire tear gas into the home and enter it.
They found both the suspected shooter and his roommate dead from gunshots. Police called it the result of a murder-suicide.
“(The suspect) was in the doorway, deceased, and the other person was in the back room, directly down the hallway,” McManus said, describing the scene.
He described the suspect as being an older man, a fact that came as a surprise to him.
McManus said investigators have not determined the motive for the shooting.
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