Repeat offender roams free, shoots two officers

The top-ranking police official in San Antonio, Texas, took to social media on Friday to voice his confusion over how a repeat offender with an extensive criminal record was able to freely roam the streets and shoot two police officers. The incident unfolded around 5 p.m. on Thursday when two officers from the San Antonio Police Department were dispatched to the location of a wanted suspect. The suspect, later identified as Jesse Garcia, had exited his apartment complex armed with a rifle and entered a vehicle driven by an unidentified person.

San Antonio Police Department Chief Bill McManus stated that Garcia noticed the police trailing them and began firing, injuring one of the officers. The pair then commandeered another vehicle and fled to a different apartment complex where they shot and wounded a second officer multiple times. Garcia later barricaded himself inside the apartment complex but was eventually apprehended.

In a social media post the following morning, McManus expressed his concerns about the circumstances surrounding the shooting. He highlighted that the suspect had been out on two bonds for nearly a year, despite committing additional crimes and being re-arrested and wanted on three separate warrants. He questioned why Garcia was not in jail and why his bonds were not increased.

McManus clarified that he was not blaming anyone but was simply asking why the situation was allowed to occur. He described Garcia as a “dangerous, dangerous man” and revealed that there were three active warrants for his arrest. He also shared that the officers were trailing Garcia from a distance of 60 yards when he began shooting at them with an AR, injuring one officer in the eye.

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales’s office did not immediately respond to inquiries about the matter. However, Christian Henricksen, the first assistant of the DA’s office, explained that while the DA’s office can suggest a bond amount to the judge, the final decision is based on factors such as the severity of the crime and the suspect’s criminal history.

Garcia’s previous charges date back to 2019 and include firearm possession and unauthorized use of a vehicle. This year, he faced two charges, and the warrants for his arrest were for vehicle burglary and evading arrest. Garcia was imprisoned in 2019 for felony possession of a firearm, and last year he was arrested for drug possession and unauthorized use of a vehicle. He posted bond and has not yet been indicted on those charges. Garcia was also arrested in February of this year for burglarizing vehicles and posted bond. He was arrested again in June for felony possession of a firearm and evading arrest, before posting bond once again.

When questioned why the DA’s office did not recommend holding Garcia without bail, Henricksen stated that it is generally not something judges can do, except in “very limited circumstances” such as capital murder and domestic violence. He added that the DA’s office could have possibly acted a bit more swiftly, which would have resulted in the warrant being issued a few weeks earlier. Court records indicate that Garcia is currently being held on a $1 million bond for each aggravated assault against the police officers.