Neida Tijerina Texas woman killed by San Antonio police gunfire during armed hostage standoff involving her husband, Angel Sanchez.
A Texas mother of three killed during an hours long hostage standoff involving her armed husband was likely shot by errant police gunfire according to reports.
Neida Tijerina, 29, was found dead Monday night inside her San Antonio apartment after police fired at her 28-year-old husband Angel Sanchez when he walked outside and pointed a shotgun at them, KSAT reported.
The ensuing barrage of gunfire ended a standoff between police and Sanchez, who had allegedly threatened to kill his wife, only to kill the woman anyway.
The suspect was critically injured during the shooting.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus on Wednesday revealed Tijerina’s likely cause of death, saying that evidence gathered by investigators suggests she likely died by police gunfire.
Tense hostage standoff scene
‘Officers discovered that Ms. Tijerina had died from a gunshot wound,’ the chief said during a press conference. ‘The Bexar County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy this morning. While they cannot yet conclusively state that Neida died as a result of the officers firing on the suspect, the physical evidence appears to support that conclusion.’
McManus called Tijerina’s death ‘an extremely tragic event for all involved.’
McManus said police responded to an apartment complex at about 9 p.m. on Monday, ‘for a suicidal male threatening to kill his common law wife’ who was with her three young children.
When they arrived on scene, McManus said police learned it was a hostage situation. The suspect, was armed with a shotgun and wearing body armor. Sanchez had a history of domestic violence and ‘indicated to family that he was going to kill Ms. Tijerina and then kill himself,’ McManus said.
Police then called for additional units, including SWAT and a hostage negotiator.
At one point, Tijerina exited the apartment but would not go with police because ‘her children were still inside and she did not want to leave them alone,’ McManus said.
It was upon Sanchez exiting the apartment with a shotgun aimed at police, police responded with gunfire, inadvertently shooting dead the woman being held hostage inside the dwelling. It wasn’t until checking the apartment after Sanchez dropping his weapon that the woman’s body was discovered.
What could have been done differently?
Tijerina’s three children ranged in ages from 3 months to 15-years-old and were unharmed, police said. Sanchez was described as the father of the baby.
David Thomas, a professor of forensics studies at Florida Gulf Coast University, said using a weapon while on duty can be taxing psychologically, but accidentally shooting someone is a ‘worst-case scenario’ for an officer.
‘He or she feels absolutely responsible for that loss of life,’ Thomas said according to NBC News. ‘They carry that burden with them.’
Sanchez who is now hospitalized was charged with three counts of aggravated assault of a peace officer, the report said.
The episode has since left the family grieving and wondering what could have been done differently. The shooting remains under investigation.