Off-duty Latina officer stops gunman before entering San Antonio movie theater

SAN ANTONIO — A man was shot by an off-duty deputy after investigators say he opened fire at a South Side theater Sunday night, injuring one person.

Authorities said 19-year-old Jesus Manuel Garcia showed up at the China Garden restaurant around 9:30 p.m. Sunday and opened fire. Investigators say Garcia works at the restaurant and believe the shooting may have had something to do with a breakup with his girlfriend, who also works at the restaurant. The girlfriend was not at the restaurant at the time of the shooting.

The employees inside the restaurant fled out a side door into the parking lot. Investigators said Garcia began chasing the employees and continued firing at them as they ran through the parking lot and into the Mayan Palace Theatre next door.

As Garcia was running through the parking lot, he shot the windshield of a San Antonio Police patrol car after an officer in the car shined a spotlight on him. The officer was not injured.

Garcia then ran inside the movie theater, where he continued his search for the restaurant employees. Movie-goers in the lobby, bathroom, and some theaters reported hearing multiple gunshots. The gunshots caused people inside the theater to panic.

“Everybody was just coming out of the side of the theater, running out the emergency exits. And everyone was screaming and running,” a woman who was at the theater told us.

Authorities said one person was shot by Garcia.

Garcia was finally stopped by an off-duty Bexar County Sheriff’s Department officer who was working security at the theater. Officials said the officer, Sgt. Lisa Castellano, heard the gunfire inside the theater and ran towards the sound of the shooting to find out what was going on. Sgt. Castellano spotted Garcia coming out of a bathroom with his gun drawn and fired at him, shooting him four times.

“The officer involved, she took the appropriate action to try to keep everyone safe in the movie theater,” Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Detective Lou Antu said.

An off-duty San Antonio Independent School District officer who was also at the theater helped take Garcia into custody.

The man who was shot by Garcia was taken to a hospital and is said to be in stable condition.

Garcia has since undergone surgery and is in stable condition at San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC). He has been charged with attempted capital murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His bond has been set at $10 million.

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