‘He wasn’t running’: After SAPD fatally shoots man, loved ones wonder if confrontation could’ve gone differently

San Antonio police clarified earlier statements made by the chief, saying Juan Antonio Hernandez hadn’t violated parole when officials tried to arrest him.

SAN ANTONIO — Relatives claim the man who San Antonio police labeled a felon on the run after fatally shooting him Tuesday showed up for a scheduled court date the day before. 

Grieving family members spent Wednesday cleaning up their damaged home in the 400 block of Morningview Drive and mourning the loss of a man who they said was a dedicated worker. Officials with the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) said 52-year-old Juan Antonio Hernandez died during a confrontation with SWAT officers Tuesday evening.

Police Chief William McManus said Hernandez had three felony warrants and refused to leave the house when officers attempted to arrest him.

Neighbors described the confrontation as an hourslong ordeal in which police, through a loud speaker, tried to convince Hernandez to surrender. 

A neighbor named Albert said he heard a commotion and looked outside to find SWAT officers using a machine to gain access to the home. 

“I saw SWAT using their mechanical thing to, I guess, knock the door down, and I heard the gunfire,” Albert said. “They gave him a lot of warnings to come out. They were telling him they had a warrant for his arrest and they kept telling him, (repeating) his name over and over and over.”

Albert said while he and others were busy taking cover, they heard numerous shots being fired.

“The cops that were back there were telling us to go back, get in the house,” Albert said. 

Jonathan Hilyer said he was outside nearby with his cousin when they heard a big boom.

“It could have been either a gunshot or a flash bang, there was multiple booms,” Hilyer said. “The first one I assume would be a flash bang and then we walked to the street on Morningview. We seen the flashbang go off, the smoke. Then we heard more loud noise.”

A woman named Crystal said when she heard the disturbance, she thought a sudden storm had blown in.

“I heard boom, boom, boom! I thought it was lightning. I told my daughter and we went outside and we heard that speaker, a police officer on a speaker, for the person to come out,” Crystal said.  

Maria said she watched the drama from a few houses down the street.  

“I was right here and I heard pow, pow.  And then: pow, pow, pow. They started shooting back,” Maria said, adding she was convinced it was a gun battle. 

‘He wasn’t running.’

Cecilia Hernandez, who said Juan is her nephew, said she believes the situation could have been handled differently.

Washing her nephew’s blood off the family’s porch, Hernandez said: “I don’t think they had to come in and do all this.”

Hernandez said not only did police crash through the front windows of the home, but they turned the house upside down, emptying closets and tossing dressers as they searched the entire residence.

Saying that Chief McManus was wrong to label Hernandez a parole violator, she admitted her nephew is on the sex offender registry for Texas, but the case was decades old and he had been cleared from parole for many years.

Police did release a written statement Wednesday clarifying the matter, saying: “The information provided at the scene was preliminary. It was later discovered that the suspect DID NOT have a parole violation.  He was discharged from parole in 2019 from another state.” 

Clarifying another misstatement from Tuesday, SAPD said the two officers who fired on Hernandez had five and 14 years of service.  At the scene, McManus had said the two officers had 14 and 15 years on the force.

With regard to the current three felony charges that led to the deadly standoff, Cecilia Hernandez said her nephew went to court on Monday, but “they had a recess and he came home. He did not go back to court and he said the district attorney and his lawyer wouldn’t help him, so he left.”

Cecilia Hernandez said that, before this week, Juan had a long history of compliance with court orders. 

“He was going to court. He was paying his monitor. He had a monitor on for two years already,” she said, adding that she spoke with him early Tuesday, just hours before he died. “He said he was OK.  That he was OK, that he wasn’t running. That he was here to stay and he said he knew they were going to arrest him because he didn’t finish the process when he went to court.”

Cecilia Hernandez reemphasized that Juan wasn’t a felon on the run, adding SAPD knew where to find him and could have given the situation time to be peacefully resolved.

“He was right here! If he was on the run, the monitor on his ankle would have found him,” she said. “He never had a beef with police in the past so that was unnecessary.”

In addition to broken glass, crushed lawn furniture and a chainlink fence that was mowed down, the family is concerned about what will happen with security footage recorded by cameras mounted on the front of the home.

Cecilia Hernandez said that before they had a chance to review any of the footage to see what actually happened, police took their system.

“I don’t know why they took the monitors. What was the purpose of taking the monitors?” Hernandez said, adding that they need the system to be working for a family member with medical issues.

“These cameras are here because my sister is sick.  She falls. The cameras let me or my mom know if she falls when she is by herself so we should get the monitor back” Hernandez added.  

With regard to the process of the investigation, the SAPD release states:

“Both the SAPD Shooting Team and the Internal Affairs Unit will conduct separate, concurrent inquiries regarding the shooting. Their findings will be sent to the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office for an independent review. This is all the information we are releasing at this time as this is an active investigation.”

Meanwhile, the family said even though Hernandez worked as a contractor, he didn’t have a life insurance policy. So they will be working together to raise money for his funeral services, adding they have not established a special fund at this time. 



[embedded content]

Original News Source

Click here for Superior HOA Management