OAN’s Brooke Mallory
11:09 AM – Sunday, June 25, 2023
Three San Antonio police officers have been charged with murder for shooting a woman who the city’s police chief described as having a “mental health crisis.”
Police Chief William McManus said that Sgt. Alfred Flores and Officers Eleazar Alejandro and Nathaniel Villalobos were suspended without pay and are now arrested on murder charges in the shooting death of 46-year-old Melissa Perez, who reportedly defied police demands on Friday to come out of her residence.
“The officers’ actions were not consistent with SAPD’s policy and training,” McManus said during a news conference. “They placed themselves in a situation where they used deadly force, which was not reasonable given all the circumstances as we now understand them,” he continued.
According to McManus, one of the three charged cops opened fire after Perez first hurled a glass candlestick at the officers and then swung a hammer at them. When Perez approached them again with the hammer, two police officers shot her.
The names of the attorneys who will reportedly testify on behalf of the three cops were not included in court documents or press briefings.
Perez was accused of disconnecting the wires to a fire alarm at the apartment complex and was speaking with fire officials at 12:30 a.m. on Friday when an officer arrived and tried to persuade her to move toward his police car to talk, according to McManus.
Perez was having a conversation with a fire department employee outside the complex when an unnamed officer arrived and can be heard on body camera video saying, “Hey lady, get over here!”
Perez refused and walked away from the officer.
“It appeared that Miss Perez was having a mental health crisis,” McManus said without offering further explanation.
The video then showed an officer removing a window screen from Perez’s apartment terrace while Perez yelled “stop it” and “you ain’t got no warrant.”
The unidentified officer shouted, “You’re going to get shot,” which prompted Perez to yell back at the officer, saying “Shoot me—you ain’t got no warrant.”
Later, the sound of glass shattering was heard, followed by two volleys of gunfire.
McManus declined to answer any further questions, citing ongoing investigations into the incident by the police department’s Internal Affairs and Civil Rights divisions, as well as the Civil Rights Division of the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office.
Other police officers were at the scene as well, but none are anticipated to be prosecuted. However, all present officers will be examined for their behavior, according to McManus.
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