‘My mom didn’t deserve that’: Daughter of woman shot, killed by SAPD seeks justice nearly 1 year later

Melissa Perez was fatally shot in June 2023 while experiencing mental health crisis

SAN ANTONIO – Just days before the one-year mark of her death, Melissa Perez’s family still can’t believe what happened.

“I wish I could just go back and tell her how much I loved her,” Alexis Tovar, Perez’s daughter, said. “I’ll never be the same. I don’t have my mom with me anymore.”

San Antonio police shot and killed Perez on June 23, 2023, while experiencing a mental health crisis. Nearly one year later, her family is still fighting for justice.

“It’s hard,” Tovar said. “I can’t even grieve because I am seeking justice, still.”

SAPD said bodycam footage shows Perez had a hammer in her hand when police shot her through a patio window and door.

“What impact did that video have the first time you watched it?” KSAT reporter Avery Everett asked Dan Packard, the family’s attorney.

“Shock. Rage. Sadness,” Packard responded.

SAPD confirmed its mental health unit was not called out to the scene before the shooting. Perez’s death sent shockwaves through the city and pushed people to question how San Antonio handles mental health responses.

“I want awareness, I want change, I want everyone to not forget who my mom was and I want justice,” Tovar said.

Packard said change has to be systemic across the city.

“Until the cultural and systemic problems of not disciplining officers, not giving them the training that they need, not intervening when somebody is losing their head, all of those things are needed in order to prevent this from happening in the future,” Packard said.

He added that any civil cases are on hold until the criminal cases play out.

Sgt. Alfred Flores, Officer Eleazar Alejandro and Officer Nathaniel Villalobos were charged with murder in connection with the shooting. It’s rare for law enforcement officers to get charged with murder in San Antonio.

At the end of last year, Alejandro and Flores were indicted for murder, while Villalobos was indicted on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public servant.

The next hearing for the officers is set for June 27.

The three officers were suspended indefinitely from SAPD, but their attorneys confirmed to KSAT that they all have appealed.

KSAT reached out to SAPD for comment on Tuesday and has yet to hear back by Wednesday night.

About the Authors

Avery Everett is a news reporter and multimedia journalist at KSAT 12 News. Avery is a Philadelphia native. If she’s not at the station, she’s either on a hiking or biking trail. A lover of charcuterie boards and chocolate chip cookies, Avery’s also looking forward to eating her way through San Antonio, one taco shop at a time!

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