SAN ANTONIO – After five police shootings in the past two weeks, in which five San Antonio officers have been wounded by suspects and three suspects have been killed, the city and Bexar County will bring together law enforcement and other leaders to discuss the recent violence.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai, in a joint news release, announced that they would be using this meeting to develop plans to reduce police shootings.
Police Shootings Timeline
- Aug. 24 -Jesse Garcia, 28, allegedly shot at San Antonio police officers and wounded three of them. He was arrested after barricading himself inside an apartment for hours. The two most seriously injured officers were Officer Raul Chavez and Officer Rhett Shoquist, who was shot in the head. Both survived and have been released from the hospital. SWAT Officer Adam Rule was struck in the forearm by a round fired through the patrol vehicle’s window. A light affixed to the shoulder of a fourth officer — Josue Vallejo-Martinez — was struck by gunfire, but the officer was uninjured.
- Aug. 30 - Michael Kirkland, 40, opened fire at drivers and police officers on an East Side highway and was killed by police, according to SAPD. Officer J. Owen was shot and hospitalized.
- Aug. 30 - Officer John Helle accidentally shot himself during a foot chase where officers fatally shot 21-year-old Victor Fernandes in a Home Depot parking lot.
- Sept. 4 - Officers Juan Dominguez and Matthew Raste shot and killed Jacob String during a pursuit on the Southeast Side near Southcross and Prestwick.
- Sept. 5 - A San Antonio police officer was shot on the city’s Southwest Side near the 200 block of Iroquois Street. Suspect Dominick Rubio was arrested and charged with attempted capital murder of a police officer, violation of bond and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Sakai, Nirenberg share statements on recent shootings
“Public safety is the priority for everyone in Bexar County, including law enforcement personnel, the judiciary, and all our residents. Working together, we need to come up with approaches to this complicated issue. Our judiciary and law enforcement are committed to addressing our challenges, and most importantly, reducing the violence we’re currently experiencing in our community,” said Judge Sakai in a written statement.
KSAT has tried multiple times to get an interview with Sakai regarding the shootings, but the county judge has not been made available.
Since last Friday, @ksatnews has tried to talk with @JudgePeterSakai about the string of shootings involving San Antonio police officers in the past two weeks. In those incidents, five officers were wounded by suspects, and three suspects were shot.— KSAT Daniela Ibarra (@KSATDaniela) September 7, 2023
Nirenberg expressed similar sentiments, saying it’s a collaborative effort that needs to be addressed now.
“It is always unacceptable when a violent crime is committed against any resident, particularly by repeat violent offenders. This is unfortunately a complex issue, but it is one we must address collaboratively and immediately,” said Mayor Nirenberg in a written statement.
Who will be at the meeting, and when is it happening?
The public safety meeting is expected also to include the following public safety and criminal justice officials:
- San Antonio Police Chief William McManus
- Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar
- District Attorney Joe Gonzales
- City Manager Erik Walsh
- County Manager David Smith
- City Attorney Andy Segovia
- Criminal District Judge Ron Rangel
McManus and Gonzales have been at odds for the past few days, putting the blame on the other’s agency following another police shooting involving a wanted suspect on Tuesday afternoon.
The joint news release from Nirenberg and Sakai did not include a public date for the meeting. The county judge’s communication director told KSAT that details would be made available later.
KSAT will update you with more details about this meeting as the information becomes available.