San Marcos police fatally shot and killed John RIchard Camacho of Canyon Lake Friday night. Photos courtesy of SMPD
Man killed in officer involved shooting
San Marcos police fatally shot a man Friday night after he pulled a pellet gun designed to look like a semiautomatic pistol, San Marcos Police Chief Chase Stapp said.
At a Saturday morning press conference, Stapp provided preliminary information about the incident, which began with a report of gunfire downtown. At around 9:30 p.m. Friday, police received a report of a man shooting a handgun at a vehicle in the 100 block of South LBJ Drive, Stapp said.
Officers responded and learned from a bystander that the alleged gunman got into the fleeing vehicle, Stapp said. Not long after, officers saw a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle the man allegedly shot at traveling west on West Hopkins Street. Officers conducted what Stapp called a “high risk” stop on the vehicle at the corner of West Hopkins and Bishop Street. Social media posts from people who live in the area said the stop occurred at the Stripes gas station at that intersection.
Polica say Camacho pulled a pellet gun designed to look like a semiautomatic pistol.
Stapp said that almost immediately after the vehicle stopped, the front right passenger got out of the car and faced the two officers. The police officers saw that he matched the clothing description given by the original caller. Officers issued verbal commands for the passenger to keep his hands up, and though he complied at first, Stapp said he “quickly lowered his hands as the officers continued giving him very loud commands to the contrary.”
“As the man’s hands neared his waistband, he reached for his waistband, grasped a pistol and began to pull upward on it,” Stapp continued. “Both officers simultaneously fired multiple times on the subject, and he was struck by the officers’ gunfire.”
Shortly afterwards, Stapp said, the pistol was found to be a pellet pistol manufactured to look just like a semiautomatic handgun.
“You absolutely could not tell the difference if you were standing 2 feet away from him,” Stapp said.
The man, identified as 27-year-old John RIchard Camacho of Canyon Lake, died at the scene. Justice of the Peace JoAnne Prado pronounced him deceased. Stapp said the driver of the vehicle was not injured and is cooperating with police.
Stapp said that Camacho had an extensive criminal record, including weapons offenses and violent crimes, and was on parole at the time of the shooting. Comal County Jail records show that between 2010 and 2015, Camacho had been booked for a variety of offenses, including interfering with railroad property, theft, unlawfully possessing a weapon, unauthorized use of a vehicle and resisting arrest.
Stapp emphasized that the information at the briefing was “very preliminary” but included information gleaned from reviews of multiple body-worn and vehicle-mounted cameras.
“The San Marcos Police Department values the sanctity of human life above all things,” Stapp said. And any time we are forced to take a life in the course of our duties, we will do our best to provide as much information as we can as quickly as we can to our community.”
San Marcos Police investigators and the Texas Rangers will investigate the incident. Stapp said substantial updates likely will not be available until the investigation is complete.
“The investigation into this incident will be exhaustive,” he said. “We will release pertinent updates at a later time.”
He took no questions from reporters.