Community leaders share proposed violence prevention strategies after crime-heavy weekend

Metro Health is set to bring the violence prevention plan to city leaders in the coming weeks.

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio community is recovering from a night riddled with violence Saturday — a teenager shot while playing video games, another woman found shot in her car, and law enforcement using deadly force in two other incidents.

It’s a trend that community leaders are trying to end through a community-driven violence prevention plan that will soon be in the hands of city leaders.

Just before 9 p.m., Bandera County deputies exchanged gunfire with a murder suspect at a Walmart on the city’s Northwest Side, near Guilbeau and Bandera.

Deputies shot the suspect in the shoulder before he went into the store and fired several rounds.

No one else was injured and the suspect was arrested.

“I have never seen so many cops, so much manpower, lights and sirens all at once,” witness Joe Lopez said.

Not long after that shooting, San Antonio police officers shot a man wielding a large knife on the city’s South Side, on Roosevelt Avenue.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said when officers confronted the suspect, they had to react.

“I have not seen the body cam video. Witnesses reported that there was a confrontation and the officer wound up having to use deadly force,” McManus said.

Then, around 10 p.m. Saturday, San Antonio police found a woman shot twice in the head just before her car crashed into another car on the city’s West Side near Buena Vista.

Overnight, a teenager was shot while playing video games in what police are calling a drive-by shooting on the city’s West Side, near Ruiz Street. Police are still looking for a suspect.

“If we can come together, we can reduce this,” Charles Skarin, with Youth for Christ, said.

Community leaders are fed up and are teaming up to put an end to the cycle of violence in San Antonio.

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, along with dozens of community organizations, has finally completed a five-year violence prevention plan, which is full of prevention and intervention strategies.

“It’s everyone’s problem. Everyone must join in the solution. Wherever you are, wherever you take you on a solution, bring it to the table,” Lloyd Patterson, with Rise and Recovery, said.

The violence prevention plan tackles gun violence, violence among youth, domestic violence and sexual violence.

“What have they done in New York? Chicago? What worked in these places and what can be imported to work here,” Patterson said.

Some of the proposed strategies include a youth ambassador program, where young people will encourage their peers to stay away from violent activities.

Another proposed strategy was to create a hub for violence prevention so people can access resources faster and easier.

“One stop shop where whether it’s a concerned citizen or somebody who’s serving youth or can reach out and say, ‘Hey, what resources are there? Who do I call? What can I do?’” Skarin said.

Metro Health is set to bring the violence prevention plan to city leaders in the coming weeks.

After reviewing the plan, city leaders will decide how to support the strategies.

About the Authors:

Camelia Juarez is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2022. Camelia comes from a station in Lubbock, Texas. Now, she is back in her hometown. She received her degree from Texas State University. In her free time, Camelia enjoys thrifting, roller-skating and spending time with family and friends.