SAPD officers shot 22 people in 2023, killing 14. At least 8 officers were shot on duty.

14 people were killed by SAPD police officers; almost 3 times as many from 2022

This map shows all of the incidents in 2023 when San Antonio police officers either shot someone or were shot. Red makers show where people were killed by officers. Yellow markers show where officers were shot. Purple markers show where people were injured in shootings by officers. (Google Maps)

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police policy only allows the use of deadly force when they feel like there’s an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury.

In 2023, 22 people were hit by bullets fired by San Antonio police — 14 of them died, according to data obtained from SAPD by KSAT.

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That’s nearly three times the number of deadly SAPD shootings in 2022 when 5 people were killed by officers’ gunfire.

The year also brought a wave of gunfire aimed at officers, with at least eight officers being shot.

Five of those San Antonio police officers were shot by suspects they were pursuing and another accidentally shot himself during a pursuit. All six of those came in the span of two weeks during the summer.

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales and San Antonio Police Chief William McManus sparred over who was to blame for the shootings, which involved suspects with active warrants. Several elected leaders also weighed in on how to address the violence.

The map below shows all of the incidents in 2023 when SAPD officers either shot someone or were shot.

The data does not include incidents involving the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

Timeline of shootings in which SAPD officers shot people or were shot

Here’s a look back at the shootings involving SAPD in 2023 with details about what led up to them:

Jan 5: Jose Luis Iruegas, 45, was shot by San Antonio police officers during a disturbance at a West Side motel. He died weeks later after police said his family removed Iruegas from life support on January 29.

Jan. 24: 50-year-old Eric Nandin died after being shot by police in a Motel 6 parking lot on the West Side. Chief McManus said an SAPD Street Crimes officer tried to handcuff Nandin, who pulled away and grabbed a gun from his waistband and fired two shots.

March 14: A 41-year-old man was shot by San Antonio police after they say he led them on a chase through the Southeast Side. SAPD said the man, who had a felony warrant for domestic violence, pointed a gun at officers.

March 14: An officer shot 33-year-old Roger Garza in the leg at a North Side apartment complex. Police said the Garza was wielding a gun. Police arrested him on an outstanding warrant of deadly conduct and charged him with aggravated assault against a public servant.

March 28: San Antonio police say Paul Palafox, 34, died three days after a shootout with San Antonio police officers on the East Side. Police said Palafox got between two vehicles with open doors and fired 26 rounds with an AR-15 toward the officers, who returned fire.

May 3: A 34-year-old man holding his mother at knifepoint in a chokehold was shot by San Antonio police on the Northeast Side. One of the officers who was chasing the suspect came up behind him, pulled a gun and shot him once in the thigh to get him to release his mother, McManus said.

May 6: San Antonio police shot 22-year-old Bryan Spangrud in the arm during a standoff on the Northeast Side. Police said Spangrud was coming in and out of his home while armed with a long gun several times. They said they tried to coax him out of his home several times. Spangrud was charged with two counts of deadly conduct and aggravated assault on a peace officer.

March 29: San Antonio police say 26-year-old Raul Arzola was wounded in a shootout at Ramirez/Arnold Park on the South Side. Police said they were responding to a call for shots fired at the park when Arzola pointed the gun at officers before they fired. He ran off, but officers eventually caught up and charged him with two counts of aggravated assault on a public servant and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for firing toward people in the park.

May 26: Two San Antonio police officers shot and killed Arturo Fuentes, 42, after he allegedly fired a handgun throughout a neighborhood and pointed a gun at officers, according to SAPD Chief William McManus.

June 23: San Antonio police officers shot and killed 46-year-old Melissa Perez as she was presumed to be experiencing a mental episode in her Southwest Side apartment. Sgt. Alfred Flores, Officer Eleazar Alejandro and Officer Nathaniel Villalobos were charged in her death in June 2023 and were released on bond. SAPD Chief William McManus said that the officers didn’t follow department training or policy and “used deadly force, which was not reasonable given all the circumstances as we now understand them.” A grand jury indicted three San Antonio police officers in December 2023 in connection with Perez’s death, according to District Attorney Joe Gonzales. They’re set to be arraigned in January 2024.

July 16: Adrian San Martin, 30, died one day after being shot by an officer during a chase on the Northeast Side. Police said he had a gun, but it’s unknown if San Martin aimed the gun at officers or fired any gunshots.

Aug. 24: Jesse Garcia, 28, is accused of shooting three San Antonio police officers during a violent rampage on the city’s Southwest and West Sides. Garcia, at the time, was described by SAPD as a “very violent” and “dangerous” person. He was on bond on four previous cases: evading arrest with a vehicle, felon in possession of a firearm, unauthorized use of a vehicle and felony drug possession. At the time of his arrest, Garcia was being held on bonds totaling more than $4.3 million.

Aug. 30: Michael Kirkland, 40, opened fire at drivers and police officers on an East Side highway. Officer J. Owen was shot and hospitalized. Police said officers shot and killed Kirkland.

Aug. 30: 21-year-old Victor Fernandes was shot and killed by a San Antonio police officer in a Home Depot parking lot. San Antonio police have said they were tracking two vehicle burglary suspects, including Fernandes, when officers followed the suspects to the Home Depot in the 600 block of SW Loop 410 around 9:40 p.m. A 10-year veteran of the San Antonio Police Department, identified as John Helle, accidentally shot himself during the same incident.

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 by a suspect in the 200 block of Iroquois Street. Police arrested 29-year-old Dominick Rubio and charged him with attempted capital murder of a police officer, violation of bond and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His bonds total more than $1 million, jail records show.

Sept. 15: 19-year-old Alex Saldana was shot by a San Antonio police officer at an apartment complex on the 3100 block of Culebra. Police said they responded to reports of Saldana pistol-whipping his 19-year-old girlfriend. When police got there, they said Saldana pointed the gun at officers, who then shot Saldana in the chest.

Sept. 16: San Antonio police shot and killed 46-year-old Jesus Hernandez during a robbery call on the 31000 block of Roosevelt Avenue.

Oct. 17: San Antonio police shot and killed Richard Rodriguez after a chase. Police said Rodriguez was armed with a gun.

Oct. 19: Two San Antonio police officers were hospitalized with serious injuries after being shot during a domestic dispute call on the Northeast Side. A neighbor helped one of the injured officers by applying a tourniquet. The suspect, Jesus Prado, 40, is charged with two counts of attempted capital murder of a police officer and one count of deadly conduct, according to San Antonio police. His bonds total $3 million, Bexar County Jail records show.

Oct. 23: A San Antonio police officer shot and killed 34-year-old Ruben Garcia at the Winston Square apartments on the West Side. Police said the officer was patrolling the area and noticed Garcia had a gun in his waistband. They said the officer tried to stop Garcia and attempted to use a Taser weapon on him. Chief McManus said the officer and Garcia began struggling over Garcia’s gun, but neighbors disputed that.

Nov. 28: San Antonio police shot David Trevino, 47, during a chase on I-35 at Somerset Road. Officers had been looking for Trevino, who McManus described as having an “extensive criminal history,” for two days. Police suspected he was involved with a shooting in the 200 block of Sandmeyer. Police said they pulled a car over with Trevino in it, who then ran out into an open field.

Nov. 28: Two police officers fatally shot a man during a chase on the West Side. Police said Officer Joshua Barbosa and Officer Jonathan Delgado shot Steven Allen Lopez, 45, after trying to conduct a traffic stop on a car with Lopez and another person inside.

Dec. 10: Two Park Police officers shot and killed a man on the city’s West Side. Police said Ray Garcia, 27, tried to take a gun from an officer. A woman told officers Garcia had several outstanding warrants.

Dec. 24: San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said a man shot at officers after they responded to a domestic disturbance in the 7500 block of Westlyn Drive. One of the officers fired back at the man, wounding him.

About the Author

Daniela Ibarra joined the KSAT News team in July 2023. This isn’t her first time in the KSAT newsroom– the San Antonio native spent the summer of 2017 as an intern. Daniela is a proud Mean Green alum, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas.

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