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San Antonio police have shot four suspects in five days | A local professor weighs in on the use of deadly force

In two instances Tuesday, officers shot and killed two men who were allegedly armed with guns.

SAN ANTONIO — Police in San Antonio have shot four suspects in the past five days. In each instance, the suspects were armed with guns.

In two instances in the last 24 hours, officers fatally shot two suspects.

SAPD officers responded to the 400 block of Clutter Avenue on the city's south side around 6 p.m., where a 37-year-old man reportedly shot and killed a 49-year-old man who was inside a backyard shed.

Police Chief William McManus said five officers arrived and came across the suspect, who began firing. Officers returned fire, killing the suspect.

Hours earlier, a VIA transit police officer shot and killed a gun-wielding man aboard a bus in north San Antonio. It’s unclear what triggered the officer to shoot the suspect.

According to SAPD, there have been seven officer-involved shootings in 2021. At the same time in 2020, there were eight investigations.

A police spokesman could not attribute any one factor to each of the shootings.

UTSA political science professor Javier Oliva pointed out the trend of San Antonio officer-involved shootings within recent years.

“They have statistics from 14’ to 20’ (2014-2020). There’s been 14, 15, 16, 20, and 19 incidences over the last five years,” Oliva said.

Oliva, without referencing a specific incident, said the coronavirus pandemic may have a certain effect on those who end up confronting police.

“Anytime that you have situations with depression, unemployment, difficulties in instability of one’s life people have to find ways to resolve these challenges in our lives and these are resolving crises,” Oliva said.

The Texas Senate will vote on a bill that strips the permit requirement for residents to carry handguns. If passed, Oliva foresees potentially even more officer-involved shootings taking place.

“I think that the movement toward allowing more and more people to possess firearms in conflict with the right to bear arms and what we see in our Constitution and what our legislature’s trying to do, it’ll probably increase these types of confrontations because guns will be readily available,” Oliva said.

SAPD officials said the five officers who fired on the suspect at Clutter Ave. yesterday were placed on administrative duty; a Park Police officer remains on administrative duty after shooting a man who opened fire at the San Antonio Airport last week. VIA said the officer who shot and killed a man on a bus Tuesday is on administrative leave.