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Martinez enters business, shoots wife and co-worker, turns gun on self
A Pearsall woman is listed in stable condition in a San Antonio hospital this week after being shot several times in an ambush by her estranged husband at a downtown store Wednesday morning, June 16.
The incident ended in the assailant’s death when he allegedly turned his gun on himself after seriously injuring two people.
Police say 73-year-old Manuel Martinez entered the Shelton’s clothing and dry cleaning store on Oak Street via a back door from the service alley and shot his wife and her relative before taking his own life.
Associates of the victims have indicated Martinez had displayed a pattern of abuse against his wife over an extended period of time and that his aggression had recently become violent.
“He had been stalking her since Monday,” a coworker said last week. “She had been so scared.”
According to a witness statement, Martinez cornered the women before shooting them five times with a .22-caliber handgun. One of the women sustained a gunshot injury to the arm while the other was struck several times in the body.
Investigators have confirmed that a store employee was able to flee the building and seek help at a business next door.
Martinez was reloading his gun when his victims succeeded in escaping through the front of the building to seek refuge at the neighboring business.
Martinez then walked back into the Shelton’s store and reportedly took his own life.
Martinez’ wife was airlifted in critical condition to a San Antonio hospital. Her injuries included a bullet wound to the upper abdomen.
Martinez’ assault upon his estranged wife and others came three weeks after an incident of domestic violence in late May, when he was arrested on two felony charges for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and assault on a family member by impeding breath or circulation. Investigators have indicated Martinez may have lured his victim to a Pearsall residence by claiming that a household appliance had malfunctioned. When the woman arrived at the house, Martinez allegedly attempted strangling her with a belt and a length of rope, and reportedly struck her repeatedly with his fist. Police say Martinez then used a rifle to force the woman onto a bed.
Larry Flores, acting municipal judge for Pearsall, issued an emergency protective order against Martinez in May following the incident.