A woman struck down amidst a mental health crisis

SAN ANTONIO- Details have emerged in the case of Melissa Perez, a woman experiencing a mental health crisis, who was fatally shot by three San Antonio police officers.


On June 23, a call was made to San Antonio police regarding a woman, later identified as 46-year-old Melissa Perez, causing damage at the Rosemont at Miller’s Pond apartments.

  Perez was reported to be experiencing a mental health crisis and was observed tampering with the fire alarm system wires in the complex.

  Sergeant Alfred Flores, Officer Eleazar Alejandro, and Officer Nathaniel Villalobos arrived at the scene to engage with Perez on behalf of the San Antonio Police Department.

  Upon the officers’ arrival, Perez retreated to her apartment, locking the door behind her.

 The officers pursued her, with one officer gaining entry through a window while the other two officers attempted to persuade Perez to exit from the patio area.

  Perez’s behavior became increasingly erratic, culminating in her throwing a glass candle at one of the officers. 

She then picked up a hammer and swung it towards the officers, shattering a window that separated the patio from the apartment.

  One of the officers discharged their weapon at Perez, but according to the officers’ account, it did not appear that she was hit. 

However, Perez, still wielding the hammer, moved towards the window for another strike, at which point all three officers opened fire, striking Perez at least twice.

  Police forcefully entered the apartment and administered medical assistance until EMS personnel arrived.

 Sadly, Perez succumbed to her injuries at the scene.

  SAPD Chief William McManus said following the incident that the officers deviated from department training and policy saying they, “used deadly force, which was not reasonable given all the circumstances as we now understand them.”

  The officers were suspended without pay and are currently undergoing the termination process, according to SAPD. 

Multiple investigations are underway, and Mayor Ron Nirenberg acknowledged that the body camera footage was deeply disturbing, leading to the immediate dismissal or leave of the involved officers.

“…There’s multiple investigations underway. I will tell you that the body cam footage was very disturbing. It disturbed the police chief enough that he’s fired those police officers or placed them on leave, and so again, off the streets,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. “But with regard to the investigation, I’ll tell you that it is very disturbing. Murder charges have already been filed so those police officers, while they still are obviously given due process, they’re no longer on the job in terms of controlling the streets of San Antonio.”

  All three officers were arrested shortly after the incident and released on bond on June 24. 

The case has resulted in murder charges, and while the officers are entitled to due process, they are no longer active in their roles as street officers in San Antonio.

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