A good Samaritan was shot and killed after trying to intervene in a robbery at a San Antonio mall Sunday afternoon, in an incident that left several others injured, police said.
The shooting took place around 3:25 p.m. Sunday at the Rolling Oaks Mall in northeast San Antonio, according to a police statement.
Upon arrival, officers found a male victim dead outside a Kay Jewelers store on the second floor of the mall. He was later identified as 42-year-old Jonathan Murphy.
According to San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, Murphy had been inside the jewelry store when two men robbed it.
When Murphy tried to stop the men from fleeing, one of them shot him, McManus said at a news conference.
A bystander who was licensed to carry a concealed handgun then shot and wounded one robber, McManus said.
Police did not release the name of the wounded robber, described as a Latino male who was transported to a hospital in critical condition. He was found at the scene with multiple gunshot wounds near Murphy’s body, police said.
The other robber fled the scene after the incident, shooting as he ran and injuring other people, McManus said.
“What we have here is a robbery gone really, really bad,” the chief said.
After an extensive search of the mall and an ensuing manhunt, the second robber was apprehended late Sunday by police in Converse, a suburb of San Antonio, after he apparently crashed a stolen car.
Police identified the second suspect as 34-year-old Jason Matthew Prieto. He was booked on one charge of capital murder and two charges of aggravated robbery, and is being held on a $1.7 million bond, police said.
McManus said Murphy’s death marked the second time in recent months that a good Samaritan was killed trying to intervene in a crime. In November, a 39-year-old man trying to break up a couple’s fight in a Walmart parking lot in northwest San Antonio was shot and killed.
“It’s absolutely senseless,” McManus told reporters. “Absolutely senseless.”
A GoFundMe page set up to raise funds for Murphy’s widow described him as a “first rate protector” who loved Harley Davidson motorcycles and the Marine Corps.
Chris Cercone, who started the fundraiser and described himself as a family friend, said Murphy and his wife, Aimee, were using a “rare day off” to have their wedding rings cleaned at the mall.
“While they were there, two horrible people decided to rob the store and threaten the safety of Jon’s wife and everyone else,” Cercone wrote on the page. “Jon, the protector, lost his life making sure nobody else did.”
Police on Monday did not release names or conditions of the other injured victims from the incident.
Though McManus had said Sunday that six bystanders were injured, a police statement Monday indicated there were only two other victims with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.
Another person with chest pains was also taken to a hospital. In addition, police said a pregnant woman at the mall was treated at the scene but was not shot.
On Monday, images of the Kay Jewelers store by a local reporter with KENS News showed a broken jewelry case and a sign saying the store was closed. The Rolling Oaks Mall said it would remain closed until noon Monday.
San Antonio police spokesman Douglas Greene told the San Antonio Express-News that the would-be robbers did not make off with any jewelry.
“He didn’t get away with anything,” Greene told the newspaper, referring to the suspect who had fled the scene. “It was an unsuccessful, attempted robbery.”
Kay Jewelers said in a statement to The Washington Post they were cooperating with local law enforcement and would do everything possible to support those affected.
“We are shocked and saddened by the tragic events at the Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio, TX,” the statement read. “We extend our deepest sympathies to everyone affected.”