SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Police Chief William McManus is defending how long it took to end a standoff with an accused murderer. It lasted 76 hours.
"This was the longest that anybody can remember in SAPD history that we waited for someone to come out," McManus said.
The standoff began Wednesday night and ended peacefully Sunday morning at a Stone Oak Apartment complex on Agora Palms Drive. People who lived in that apartment building were forced out of their homes. Chief McManus said they waited the suspect out. He told KENS 5 they eventually turned off the power and water of the apartment building.
"I think that is what eventually got to him," the chief said.
Police said the standoff involved accused murderer Sone Quintero Rojas. Police said he was wanted for murder in another county.
"We are trying to get the individual to come out," he said. "So, that we don't have to go in after him and risk someone getting hurt."
McManus said the suspect told them he had an AR-15.
"At one point he was telling us he was coming out just give him an X amount of time and then after that time passed, he is not coming out. "I am going to shoot it out with you. I am going to kill myself," the chief told KENS 5.
McManus said, at one point, Rojas was holding a woman hostage. But he let her go.
"We didn't want to get any of our officers hurt by making an entry," he said. "Because he had made threats early on. "Since he was in there by himself, the strategy was just to wait him out."
The chief said communication was the primary tactic used to get the suspect out. But he said they also cut off the power and water to the building. The suspect walked out Sunday morning around 3 a.m.
"The only way we would have gone in was under exigent circumstances," he said. "If there was some type of emergency which would have required us to go in. Like if was burning the building down or if he had a hostage in there and the hostage was going to be harmed."
The chief addressed the criticism for waiting on the suspect for more than three full days.
"I heard those criticisms," he said. "I look at it one way. Everybody else sees it another way. As far as I am concerned, impatience or inconvenience is not a reason to force entry and possibly get someone hurt," he said.
Police said they did not find an AR-15 or any weapons inside the apartment. SAPD says they appreciate the residents who were impacted by the situation. SAPD says officers tried to be as accommodating as possible, escorting people out of their apartments, evacuating pets, and feeding people's cats throughout the standoff.
KENS 5 asked the chief if this situation sets a precedent, he said he doesn't believe so. He said varies case by case. McManus said if there is no emergency, it just a matter of time, he said police will wait.
As for Rojas, he was booked for three felony warrants and one misdemeanor warrant.
- Murder- First degree felony
- Agg/Assault deadly weapon- Second degree felony
- Parole Violation - third degree felony
- Theft of property- Class B misdemeanor