South Texas lawman describes shootout with accused cop killer

'I got out of my car real quick and returned fire'

By Paul Venema - Reporter

JOURDANTON, Texas - A former Poth police officer delivered riveting testimony Thursday in the capital murder trial of Shawn Puente, who is charged in the December 2013 shooting death of a San Antonio police officer.

Roberto Sanchez, now a Wilson County deputy, testified how he spotted a car that he suspected was involved in a high-speed chase that started in San Antonio and had moved into Atascosa County.

Related: Jury views dash cam footage of police chase 

Sanchez said that as he pulled up behind the car, the shooting started.

"The first shots came from a man who jumped out of the passenger side," Sanchez said. "I got out of my car real quick and returned fire. The driver got out and started shooting."

Sanchez told the jury that he ducked behind his patrol car, and the suspects, later identified as Puente, 34, and Jenevieve Ramos, 28, ran off into the brush alongside Highway 181 South.

The pair, who are charged with capital murder, were soon captured by a San Antonio Police Department K-9 team.

Related: Capital murder trial begins

During the chase, a single shot penetrated the windshield of SAPD Officer Robert Deckard's patrol car and struck him in the head. Deckard, 31, died in a hospital 13 days later.

Several of Deckard's SAPD colleagues have attended the trial, including Officer Leigh Holdersby, who graduated with Deckard from the police academy in 2007.

"He was an amazing police officer," Holdersby said. "He died doing what he loved doing."

Related: Football game honors officer killed in line of duty

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Puente and Ramos, who remains jailed while awaiting trial.

Testimony in Puente's trial will resume Friday before Judge Donna Rayes in State District Court in Atascosa County.


Read more: History of SAPD officers killed in line of duty

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