Three officers from the San Antonio, Texas Police Department have been put on unpaid leave and accused of homicide for fatally shooting a woman who was experiencing an apparent “mental health episode” over the weekend. As per Chief William McManus, on Friday, June 23, shortly after midnight, law enforcement personnel promptly attended to a housing compound situated on the 6200 section of Old Pearsall Road following the reception of a report concerning a woman “damaging belongings” and severing cables of the fire alarms within her structure. Authorities arrived and purportedly discovered the affected party, Melissa Perez, conversing with individuals from the fire brigade within the parking area.
McManus mentioned it “appeared Ms. Perez was having a mental health crisis.”
Allegedly, law enforcement attempted to place her inside a police vehicle, yet she fled towards her residence and secured herself within.
As per McManus, the law enforcement personnel believed they had grounds to apprehend Perez for the offense of vandalism as she tampered with the alarms, thus they endeavored to detain her. A single officer proceeded towards the rear veranda of her residence and severed the mesh. It is said that Perez hurled a glass candle at the officer, striking him. The aforementioned officer then awaited reinforcement to arrive.
Three officials lingered at the back of the building, anticipating Perez’s emergence. At a certain juncture, Perez purportedly sprinted towards the officials wielding a mallet and hurled it in their direction. A single official discharged their firearm, yet the projectile failed to connect with her. McManus stated that Perez persisted in approaching the officials menacingly with the mallet, prompting all three to discharge their weapons, resulting in her demise.
“The law enforcement personnel, whom McManus recognized as Sgt. Alfred Flores, Officer Eleazar Alejandro, and Officer Nathaniel Villalobos, were apprehended and accused of homicide. The trio has been placed on unpaid leave.”
Flores has served with the San Antonio Police Department for 14 years, Alejandro for five years, and Villalobos for two years.On Monday, June 26, the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office declared that the three officers were released after making bail.The police department of San Antonio made public the body camera footage of the incident.
In McManus’s press release, he noted the officers “placed themselves in a situation where they used deadly force which was not reasonable given all the circumstances as we now understand them.”Perez’s daughter conveyed to ABC News through her lawyer, “We have consistently been a pro-law enforcement family. This shatters my emotions. I perpetually relied on the police force to safeguard me and presently I am uncertain about whom to rely on. We cannot adequately articulate the depth of our anguish.”