Drones led to violent shootout during deadly standoff with deputies, troopers; Man jailed

Saddle Trail standoff 4.png

We're learning more about a violent standoff that ended with the death of an elderly woman and the arrest of a man described as having a deteriorating mental health condition.

The Bexar County Sheriff's Office identified the suspect as 60-year-old Fernando Macias. Macias was sitting inside the Bexar County Jail on a $150,000 bond on Thursday following the 28-hour standoff on Saddle Trail in Northwest Bexar County.

Deputies say they went to the home on Tuesday evening to serve a mental health warrant on Macias and to check on the welfare of the unidentified elderly woman. When they arrived, they were met with gunfire and immediately retreated.

During the course of the first few hours, investigators say Macias fired gunshots at deputies and at propane tanks positioned around the property in an effort to cause an explosion. Two deputies were injured when bullets ricocheted off the tanks and hit them. Sheriff Javier Salazar said the officers were expected to be okay. He described their injures as, "minor, but concerning."

Again, deputies retreated and established communication with the man throughout Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. During this time, deputies believed the elderly woman was alive, because they said they could hear the suspect talking to someone.

For much of Wednesday morning, there was little activity during the standoff. That changed at about 2:30 p.m., Sheriff Salazar said, when a SWAT team from the Texas Department of Public Safety arrived and began to use drones around the property.

Macias fired more shots at the drones and at state troopers, said Salazar. While the gunfight carried on, an operator was able to move a drone over to a window and see an injured person inside.

At that point, SWAT officers moved in and found Macias inside the home, suffering from an undisclosed injury. The elderly woman was found deceased and had signs of trauma to her body, said Salazar. Her identity has not yet been released.

Sheriff Salazar said the Texas Rangers and DPS would take over the investigation at the property and expected the scene to be restricted for much of Thursday.

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