What we know about 3 San Antonio police officers charged | DUI attorney

What we know about 3 San Antonio police officers charged

SAN ANTONIO – Three San Antonio police officers are charged with murder after they shot and killed a woman inside her Southwest Side apartment early Friday morning, according to SAPD.

Sgt. Alfred Flores, Officer Eleazar Alejandro and Officer Nathaniel Villalobos are charged in 46-year-old Melissa Perez’s death.

All three were arrested Friday night and released on bond Saturday.

SAPD Chief William McManus said Friday night 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.”

Perez was experiencing a mental health crisis and had a hammer in her hand when police shot her through a patio window and door, McManus said.

The department released a portion of edited and blurred body-worn camera video from officers on the scene Friday night. KSAT has requested all footage from the incident.

SAPD they were suspended without pay and are going through the termination process.

There are three separate investigations underway since the murder charges were filed — by SAPD’s Internal Affairs and Homicide units and the Bexar County District Attorney’s Civil Rights Division.

This article explains what we know so far about Perez, the officers, the shooting and the body camera footage.

San Antonio mayor, Bexar County DA, councilman comment on shooting

Two days after the deadly shooting, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg told CNN on Sunday that he’s viewed the body cam footage released by SAPD and said it “was very disturbing.”

“…There’s multiple investigations underway. I will tell you that the body cam footage was very disturbing. It disturbed the police chief enough that he’s fired those police officers or placed them on leave, and so again, off the streets,” Nirenberg said. “But with regard to the investigation, I’ll tell you that it is very disturbing. Murder charges have already been filed so those police officers, while they still are obviously given due process, they’re no longer on the job in terms of controlling the streets of San Antonio.”

In a statement on Monday, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said his office cannot comment on the “facts” because the investigation is ongoing, and the cases are active and pending.

“These cases have been assigned to our Civil Rights Division,” he said. “This division was created to independently and objectively review allegations of excessive use of force by law enforcement and prosecute those cases when the evidence supports prosecution. The Civil Rights Division responded to the scene of this shooting and have been in communication with the San Antonio Police Department about these cases. Once SAPD completes their investigation, the Civil Rights Division will fully review the evidence and prepare the cases for presentation to the Grand Jury.”

“As the investigation remains ongoing, we kindly urge all members of our community to support one another while we await additional information.”

City Councilman Jalen McKee-Rodriguez also commented on the shooting, saying it was “an avoidable death and murder by tenured officers.”

“This was absolutely an avoidable death and murder by tenured officers. Had it not been for community advocates who led the charge for police accountability through Prop B in 2021, we’d never see this fast a murder charge. Still. Our community, and this family, deserve justice,” McKee-Rodriguez said on Twitter.

No other city officials have yet spoken out about the shooting as of Monday afternoon.

Who is Melissa Perez?

46-year-old Melissa Perez. (Image provided by Packard Law Firm)

Alexis Tovar, Perez’s daughter, released a statement through her attorney Dan Packard on Saturday afternoon to ABC News.

“We have always been a pro-police family. This breaks my heart. I always trusted the police to protect me and now I don’t know who to trust. We can’t express how hurt we are,” Tovar’s statement said.

Packard Law Firm also released an image of Perez.

KSAT spoke to neighbors at the scene of the shooting Friday morning.

Ruben Veloz, who lives next door to Perez, said he didn’t really know anything was wrong until he left for work hours later.

“I was asleep,” he told KSAT. “I looked over, I saw windows broken and I was just, like, ‘Ok, what’s going on?’”

Both Veloz and another neighbor said they were shocked to hear that Perez was dead, and wondered what could have led to the shooting.

“I don’t know, like, the whole story of what happened, but to me she was always nice. I don’t know about everybody else,” Veloz said.

What San Antonio police have said about the shooting

The shooting happened around 2 a.m. Friday at the Rosemont at Miller’s Pond apartments, located in the 6200 block of Old Pearsall Road.

Police were called for a report of a woman, later identified as Perez, destroying property at the complex. According to Chief McManus, Perez was having a mental health crisis and cutting wires through a fire alarm system to the complex.

When officers arrived, Perez was speaking with San Antonio Fire Department crews in the parking lot. As they approached her, she ran back to her apartment and locked the door, McManus said.

Police tried to speak with Perez through a window, but she threw a glass candle at an officer, striking him in the arm, McManus said.

Officers Flores, Alejandro and Villalobos moved toward the back patio of Perez’s apartment and unsuccessfully attempted to coax Perez outside.

Two of the three officers jumped the railing onto the patio, and spoke to Perez through a window and door.

McManus said the window was open but officers removed the screen. He said they were investigating the incident as felony criminal mischief.

One of the officers said Perez picked up a hammer and was “approaching them from inside,” McManus said.

She swung the hammer toward the officers and broke the window separating her apartment from the patio, McManus said.

One of the officers shot at Perez, but McManus said it didn’t appear she was struck.

Perez went toward the window again, still carrying the hammer, and that’s when all three officers opened fire, according to McManus. Perez was hit at least two times.

Police forced their way inside the apartment and provided medical assistance until EMS arrived, McManus said.

Perez died from her injuries at the scene.

“Our condolences to Melissa Perez’s entire family, I want to ensure her daughter that this incident will continue to be thoroughly investigated,” McManus said.

There is not currently a timeline for the conclusion of the investigation, he said.

The cases have been assigned to the Civil Rights Division of the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, which will review the evidence and prepare the cases for presentation to a grand jury.

Danny Diaz, president of the San Antonio Police Officers’ Association released the following statement regarding the incident:

On behalf of the San Antonio Police Officers’ Association, we express our deepest condolences to Melissa Perez’s family. Following the tragic incident, Chief McManus followed all necessary protocols. All three officers have been suspended indefinitely. At this time, this is an active investigation, and cannot speak to the matter further until the investigation is complete and judicial process is underway.

Who are the officers charged with murder?

Left: Alfred Flores Center: Nathaniel Villalobos Right: Eleazar Alejandro (Bexar County Jail Records)

The three SAPD officers who were charged in Perez’s murder were identified as Sgt. Alfred Flores, Officer Eleazar Alejandro and Officer Nathaniel Villalobos.

Flores has served with the police department for 14 years, Alejandro for five years and Villalobos for two years, according to McManus.

Bexar County court records show that each of the officers is charged with murder. Their bonds were set at $100,000 each.

As of Saturday morning, all three officers made their bond and were released from the Bexar County Jail pending trial.

“The shooting officers’ actions were not consistent with SAPD’s policy and training. They placed themselves in a situation where they used deadly force, which was not reasonable given all the circumstances as we now understand them,” McManus said.

What the portion of released body camera footage shows

WARNING: The video may contain images that are disturbing to some individuals. Viewer discretion is advised.

San Antonio police released a portion of edited and blurred body-worn camera footage from the shooting around 9 p.m. Friday night.

McManus said the department expedited the release of the video.

The footage begins with an officer approaching Perez in the apartment complex’s parking lot while she is with her dog.

“Hey, lady, get over here,” the officer says.

Perez beings walking away, and the officer pursues her. “Get over here.”

“Nope,” Perez replies as she continues to walk toward her apartment and the officer runs after her.

Then, an officer is seen jumping onto Perez’s balcony.

Her balcony window is open, and the officer removes the screen.

Perez tries to close the window and tells him to stop.

The officer then raises his pistol and points it at Perez, telling her “You’re going to get shot.”

“Shoot me,” she replies.

Glass is then heard shattering, and the woman yells something at the officers.

The video then cuts to multiple officers standing at the balcony and then one officer again jumping over it.

“Hold on,” the officer says.

The woman replies, “You ain’t got no warrant.”

Another officer then says, “Let’s go. Move it.”

Two officers were then seen standing in the patio area.

One officer then turned around to reveal several officers who then all started yelling, “Watch out! Watch out!” before gunshots erupted from the officers toward the woman.

From a different perspective, one of the officers could be seen trying to open the door again.

The woman appeared to be still standing.

The officers start yelling to her, “Hey! Hey!” and more gunshots go off.

From another perspective, multiple officers could be seen firing shots at the woman’s apartment.

A hammer can not be seen clearly in the footage.

Read more on Melissa Perez and San Antonio police officers charged with murder:

Copyright 2023 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

What we know about 3 San Antonio police officers charged

SAPD Chief William McManus said Friday night 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.”

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