‘Random’ gunshots send people near SE Side shopping center running for cover

SAN ANTONIO – Gunshots that San Antonio police say a man fired at random near a Southeast Side shopping center early Tuesday sent people nearby running for cover.

Police received several calls just after 4 a.m. from people in the area near S. New Braunfels and Fair Avenue, reporting that they saw a man firing a gun into the air and sidewalk.

RELATED: Man in custody after he allegedly fired random gunshots into air, ground on Southeast Side

Chris Helms was sitting in his SUV outside a Whataburger restaurant at the time along with his family, including a two-year-old child.

South New Braunfels Avenue gunfire, arrest image. (KSAT)

“I was in the drive-thru just trying to order food for me and my family,” he said. “There’s a normal guy—(I) thought he was normal — walking across the street over there and just started shooting.”

Helms said the man appeared to have a gun in each hand, so his first instinct was to get away from him.

“I backed all the way up to the TruFit and he just kept on chasing us,” he said.

As Helms headed toward that gym across the shopping center, he says he could see the suspect also making his way in that direction.

Officers searched the area near S. New Braunfels and Fair Avenue for shell casings but did not find any. (KSAT 12 News)

He was able to provide police with a description of the suspect.

Officers quickly tracked him down and took him into custody. They say they seized several guns that the man was carrying.

Based on a later report, it appears that officers also found out what was on the suspect’s mind at the time.

It says he told them that he was shooting the gun to “scare people away.” However, it was not clear to which people he was referring.

Neither Helms or the officers on scene seemed to believe he was targeting anyone in particular.

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