Soldiers step in to stop altercation in New Braunfels park, suspect shoots at them

Two people have been arrested in New Braunfels on a charge of aggravated assault of a deadly weapon involving a July 4 incident at Prince Solms Park. 

The pair was arrested following a shots fired call at Prince Solms Park at approximately 1:30 a.m. July 4. Twenty-four-year-old Jesus Ricardo Gallegos and 26-year-old Sarah Ann Garzes, both of San Antonio, were each charged with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, second degree felony punishable, if convicted, by two to 20 years in prison.

Additional charges against Gallegos and Garzes could be forthcoming. No charges are expected to be filed against seven Fort Hood soldiers involved in this incident. At the time of a press release sent by the New Braunfels Police Department, both Gallegos and Garzes remained in custody in the Comal County Jail with bonds still pending.

At approximately 1:30 a.m., the NBPD was dispatched to Prince Solms Park in the 100 block of Liebscher Drive for reports of multiple shots fired. Officers arrived in the area and began investigating the incident. The investigation showed that seven soldiers from Fort Hood had arrived in the park shortly after 1 a.m. The soldiers told officers that shortly before 1:30 a.m., they had witnessed a disturbance between a male and female in the park’s parking lot and the soldiers had intervened. The soldiers told officers they believed they had successfully deescalated the situation and had started to walk back to their vehicle.

As the soldiers were walking away, Garzes ran to her boyfriend’s vehicle, removed a 9 mm handgun from under the driver’s seat and handed it to the male that had been involved in the disturbance (her boyfriend). The soldiers told the officers that they became aware of the handgun when they heard the slide from the gun being racked and they saw the male aiming the weapon in their direction.

The soldiers told officers they then scattered and ran to their vehicles for cover as the suspect began firing the weapon. One soldier was able to get to his vehicle and retrieved his personal .40 caliber handgun and he began firing as well, laying down what he described as “cover fire” so that his fellow soldiers could reach cover.

New Braunfels police say the investigation revealed that the suspect shooter fired a total of 19 rounds from his handgun, striking two vehicles belonging to the soldiers a total of three times. The soldier who returned fire shot a total of seven rounds with one shot striking the suspect in the right elbow.

The suspect, his girlfriend and seven soldiers initially fled the scene. Once police arrived in the park, the soldiers returned and reported what had happened during the incident.

Officers started searching for the suspect’s vehicle, which was located a short time later at a Pilot gas station in the 3200 block of Loop 337.

All of the parties involved were taken to New Braunfels Police Department headquarters for interviews.

At the time of the release, Gallegos was medically cleared by EMS, then arrested. None of the seven soldiers (ranging in age from 19 to 25) were harmed during the incident and have been cooperating fully with the investigation. No charges are expected to be filed against them.

The investigation is ongoing.