SAPD body camera video shows foot chase where detective accidentally shot himself, suspect killed

Victor Fernandes, 21, died at the scene; SAPD detective in stable condition

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police released bodycam video of a foot chase that led to the fatal shooting of a suspect in a Home Depot parking lot late last month.

The incident happened around 9:40 p.m., Aug. 30, in the 600 block of SW Loop 410 and involved suspects that were all out on dismissed charges.

One of the suspects, identified as 21-year-old Victor Fernandes, was shot multiple times and died from his injuries at the scene. The other suspect was taken into custody, but their identity and charges haven’t been released.

An undercover detective who was responding to the call accidentally shot himself during the police response but survived his injury.

Below is a breakdown of what happened and what the body camera and dash-camera videos show.

What led up to the deadly shooting

San Antonio police property crime detectives were tracking the two suspects involved throughout the day as they were traveling in a stolen vehicle that was involved in multiple vehicle burglaries.

Their vehicle made its way from I-10 to Loop 410 before taking the Highway 151 exit. Police said it eventually came to a stop at a Home Depot parking lot.

Although officers positioned their patrol vehicles in a way that would deter the driver, 21-year-old Victor Fernandes and the other suspect from fleeing, a foot chase ensued.

Fernandes got out of the vehicle and ran from police. The second suspect, who hasn’t been identified, also got out of the vehicle but was taken into custody.

Officers followed Fernandes and an undercover detective ordered him to stop. However, he continued to run and reached into his clothing to retrieve a handgun, SAPD said.

A single gunshot was fired, and the detective fell to the ground, with a gunshot wound to his torso, according to police. He was taken to the hospital by EMS in stable condition.

It was later revealed that the detective, identified as John Helle, had accidentally shot himself, SAPD said. He’s a 10-year veteran of the police department.

Another officer, who saw the detective get injured, pulled his gun and fired multiple shots at Fernandes, who was still running with a gun in his hand, SAPD said.

Fernandes did not fire any gunshots toward officers during the chase.

Police said he was shot multiple times by the officer pursuing him and despite lifesaving measures at the scene, he died from his injuries.

What the dash camera and body camera video shows

The dash camera video from SAPD began with an officer approaching the Home Depot parking lot.

Once the officer neared the suspect’s vehicle, Fernandes was seen running from police after getting out of the passenger’s side door.

The second suspect got out of the vehicle and surrendered to police with his hands up.

Another officer arrived at the scene on body camera video and joined the detective in pursuing Fernandes.

“Get on the ground! Get the f*** on the ground now!” the officer yelled at Fernandes as he kept running.

Fernandes is seen reaching into his back pocket for a firearm with his right hand. During the foot chase, police continued yelling commands for him to stop and drop the gun.

A single gunshot is heard, and the detective falls to the ground. Police said he accidentally shot himself in the torso. He was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

The body camera video then switched to the other officer involved in the foot chase, and he pulled his gun and aimed it toward Fernandes.

Although Fernandes was holding a gun while running from police, he was not seen firing any gunshots at officers.

Fernandes was shot by police multiple times and officers attempted lifesaving measures before EMS arrived. He later died from his injuries.

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.