Moral Low Ground


Off-Duty Deputy Lisa Castellano Thwarts San Antonio Theater Shooter Jesus Manuel Garcia; 2 Shot

December 17, 2012 by Brett Wilkins in Crime & Punishment with 0 Comments

A quick-thinking off-duty Texas policewoman shot and wounded a rampaging gunman who had entered a San Antonio restaurant and movie theatre with his gun blazing.

Sgt. Lisa Castellano shot and wounded 19-year-old Jesus Manuel Garcia in the Santikos Mayan Palace 14 theater in San Antonio on Sunday night after Garcia shot a bystander while running from a nearby Chinese restaurant into the cinema.

The San Antonio Express-News reports that Garcia was incensed after his girlfriend broke up with him. The jilted ex allegedly sent the unidentified woman a text message threatening to go to the China Garden restaurant on Southwest Military Drive, where both he and the woman worked, and “shoot somebody.”

The woman reportedly called the restaurant to warn workers but by that time Garcia had arrived, armed with a Glock 23 semiautomatic pistol. Garcia shot his way into the restaurant at around 9:25 p.m., chasing terrified employees out the back door and into a parking lot.

A San Antonio police officer driving nearby heard the shots and pulled into the cinema parking lot. Garcia then fired at the police cruiser, shooting out its windshield before continuing into the theater. A bystander was then shot in the back. The bullet did not strike any vital organs and the victim was treated and released at a local hospital.

Shortly thereafter, Bexar County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Lisa Castellano, who was moonlighting as a security guard at the theater, chased Garcia into a restroom. She shot him several times, disarming the suspect, who was rushed to San Antonio Military Medical Center. Garcia was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit, where he is currently listed in stable condition.

Movie-goers responded with shock and panic as gunfire erupted in the theater.

“We though we were going to die,” patron Tara Grace, who was purchasing a drink from the concession stand and locked herself in a bathroom stall with five other terrified patrons, told the Express-News.

The shooting occurred just two days after gunman Adam Lanzo killed 28 people, including 20 children, at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, and less than five months after James Holmes shot and killed a dozen people at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater.

Garcia has been charged with attempted capital murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Bond has been set at $10 million.

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