Mother of woman mistakenly killed in police standoff files lawsuit against City of San Antonio, SAPD

Federal lawsuit claims wrongful death, civil rights violation in connection with July 2021 standoff that killed Neida Tijerina

SAN ANTONIO – The mother of a woman who was mistakenly shot and killed in a tense police standoff has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Police Department.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed in the U.S. Western District of Texas in San Antonio also claims civil rights violations. A jury is being requested to hear the case and determine how much damages, if any, should be paid to the plaintiff.

The plaintiff, Maria Tijerina, is the mother of Neida Tijerina, who was 29 years old when she was killed in the standoff on July 26, 2021, at La Posada Del Rey Apartments in the 3100 block of Roosevelt Avenue.

Maria Tijerina is also the managing custodial guardian of her daughter’s four minor children and administrator of her daughter’s estate.

The defendants in the case are the City of San Antonio, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus and “unknown officers” of SAPD who were involved in the standoff.

The lawsuit accuses city officials of failing to “properly train, supervise, screen, discipline, transfer, counsel, or otherwise control officers in the use of excessive deadly force. The policymakers, had a duty, but failed to implement and/or enforce policies, practices and procedures for SAPD that respected Neida Tijerina’s safety and constitutional rights as secured by the Fourteenth Amendment. This duty was delegated to McManus who was hired to carry out the actions and policies of the council by overseeing the operations of the San Antonio Police Department.”

Neida Tijerina was being held hostage by her common-law husband, Angel Sanchez when police shot at him but inadvertently shot and killed her.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Sanchez was blamed for the death of Neida Tijerina after he pointed a shotgun at 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. The Bexar County District Attorney’s Office previously said she was unknowingly standing on the other side of the closed apartment door. Tijerina’s three children, ages 11 and 5 years and 3 months old, were also inside the apartment but were not hurt.

Sanchez is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty in May to charges in connection with the shooting death.

The lawsuit claims that the “unknown officers misused and abused their official power by recklessly exercising excessive deadly force in conscious disregard of substantial risk of harm to innocent parties such as Neida Tijerina. These unknown officers took such actions knowing that the policymakers would approve their actions.”

Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that the officers knew where Neida Tijerina and her children were in the apartment.

“All three (3) officers on the roof were aware that Neida Tijerina was in the apartment directly behind Angel Sanchez. All three (3) officers were aware that three (3) minor children were inside of the apartment beyond the apartment doorway. However, the officers fired no less than twelve, high-caliber, assault rifle shells in the direction of the apartment, while neither Angel Sanchez nor the React team fired their weapons,” the lawsuit said.

Since Sanchez was blamed for Neida Tijerina’s death, no action was taken against the officers.

City Attorney Andy Segovia released the following statement regarding the lawsuit.

“The City was served with the suit yesterday. We are reviewing it and will seek a prompt resolution through the courts.”

You can read a copy of the lawsuit below:

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About the Author

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

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