San Antonio officers face murder charges after shooting woman in her apartment
San Antonio, Texas - Three Texas police officers have been charged with murder after fatally shooting a woman in her apartment while she was suffering from a mental health crisis.
According to the Associated Press, Sergeant Alfred Flores and Officers Eleazar Alejandro and Nathaniel Villalobos responded to a call at a San Antonio apartment complex shortly after midnight on Friday.
Melissa Perez (46) was suspected of cutting wires to a fire alarm at the complex, which is a felony.
When officers arrived, she was speaking with fire department officials in the parking lot. Officers attempted to get her to walk to their car, but she refused, going back into her apartment instead.
Bodycam footage of the incident shows officers jumping over the railing of Perez's porch after trying to talk her down for 30 minutes.
Eventually, one officer attempts to enter the home as Perez yells "stop it," and "you ain't got no warrant."
Perez allegedly threw a candle at them before picking up a hammer and swinging it, breaking a window in the process. The officer then fires a shot, which missed Perez.
She begins to approach again with the hammer, leading all three San Antonio police officers to fire multiple shots into the home, hitting her several times. She was later pronounced dead by EMT workers.
There were several other officers at the scene, and an investigation into the incident remains ongoing.
Three San Antonio police officers now face murder charges
During a news conference on Friday evening, Police Chief William McManus said the officers, who were originally suspended without pay, are now in police custody facing murder charges.
"The officers’ actions were not consistent with SAPD's policy and training," explained McManus, pointing out that he believed Perez was "having a mental health crisis" during the incident.
"[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," he added.
In photos shared by AP, officer Alejandro is seen giving an eerie smile in his mugshot.
Cover photo: Collage: Screenshots / YouTube / San Antonio Police Department