Officers Charged in Fatal Shooting

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Three San Antonio Police Department officers have been indicted for the deadly shooting of 46-year-old Melissa Perez. Bexar County Criminal District Attorney Joe Gonzales announced the indictments during a press conference on Thursday. The officers, identified as Alfred Flores, Eleazar Alejandro, and Nathaniel Villalobos, were charged in connection with the June 23 shooting.

An investigation that lasted six months led to the arrests of Officer Eleazar Alejandro and Sgt. Alfred Flores on murder charges, while Officer Nathaniel Villalobos was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The three men will be arraigned on Friday.

District Attorney Gonzales emphasized during the press conference that “no one is above the law,” and the law will punish those who commit crimes.

In a press release, the Packard Law Firm, representing the family, provided additional details about the charges and evidence. The press release stated that the toxicology report showed no illegal drugs in Perez’s system, indicating that she was having an acute schizophrenic episode at the time of the incident.

The release of body camera footage after the shooting showed the interaction with Perez. Dan Packard, the representative for Melissa Perez’s family, expressed concerns about the incident, saying, “After watching that video, it’s tough to trust” the police department.

The law firm also pointed out that several officers on the scene had prior interactions with Perez and were aware of her schizophrenia. Despite this knowledge, the officers treated her like a dangerous criminal, even though her actions were a result of her mental illness. A mental health team was never called to the scene.

Moreover, the officers attempted to breach Perez’s apartment door throughout the night while she barricaded herself inside. Officers on the body camera footage can be heard dismissing the danger posed by Perez, as they were unconcerned about her carrying a hammer. However, they later claimed that the hammer presented a threat, justifying the use of lethal force.

The indictment of the officers is an initial step towards accountability, but the law firm called for further action to address the deficiencies in the police department that contributed to the shooting. The city of San Antonio has distanced itself from the incident, claiming the officers were not within the scope of their employment at the time. The law firm emphasized the need for changes in mental health response, training, disciplinary procedures, and the proper use of lethal force within the police department.