FROM STAFF AND SUBMITTED REPORTS
A San Antonio man faces attempted capital murder and attempted murder charges after allegedly trying to run down a police officer while escaping the the scene of a shooting Saturday night in downtown San Marcos.
Martin Avila III, 24, was arrested at his home at about 12:35 p.m. Sunday. He is being held at the Bexar County jail on a $500,000 bond awaiting transfer to the Hay County jail later this week.
The man Avila is accused of shooting was treated for minor injuries at the scene. The San Marcos police officer, Jesse Saavedra, was not injured.
Avila, his 18-year-old brother and a friend were involved in an altercation with the victim and his two friends at a bar on LBJ Drive Saturday night, police Cmdr. Penny Dunn said. The groups went their separate ways.
Avila went to his parked vehicle to retrieve a handgun and then confronted the victim and his friends on Hutchison Street across from Fire Station No. 1. Avila’s brother and friend stayed with the car after police say Avila retrieved the weapon and confronted the victim, Dunn said.
Witnesses said the suspect fired the handgun twice at 10:20 p.m., and one of the bullets grazed the victim’s right ear and right side of his head. Avila then fled the scene on foot, according to accounts given to police by witnesses.
Saavedra and Texas State University police officer Darin Wilde pursued Avila on foot. Saavedra, a uniformed officer, commanded Avila to stop fleeing, Dunn said.
Avila disregarded Saavedra’s order and told his brother and friend to get in the car. Police say Avila and his brother entered the car and attempted to strike Saavedra at high speed as they fled with Avila behind the wheel, Dunn said.
Saavedra jumped over a concrete construction barrier to avoid being hit and fired one shot from his service weapon, striking the car.
Saavedra, an eight-year veteran of the police department, was not injured during the incident. He was put on administrative leave for the initial stages of the investigation.
“It’s routine to put officers on administrative leave when they are involved in shooting incidents pending an internal review,” Police Chief Howard Williams said.
COVER: STOCK PHOTO by BRANDON ANDERSON. SAN MARCOS MERCURY ILLUSTRATION by BRAD ROLLINS