Bodycam and dashcam footage released by the San Antonio Police Department on Thursday shows what happened when five-year department veteran Tyler Sauvage was fired upon by armed suspects during a traffic stop on April 16. The confrontation ended with both suspects dead and Sauvage suffering a gunshot wound to the hand.
The video shows that Sauvage approached a blue pickup truck, occupied by two men and one woman, and ordered the driver to stop rummaging around in his pockets. He then asked the driver to turn off the car and place the keys in a visible position. Sauvage then asked for the passenger’s ID and asked the driver to step out of the vehicle after announcing that he smelled marijuana in the car.
‘Woah, woah, woah, I’m not doin’ that, I’m tryin’ to give you my insurance card,” the driver, later identified as 33-year-old Sammie Barbosa, stated. Barbosa told the officer that while he had smoked marijuana earlier, there was no longer any of it in his possession. According to police, the driver’s seat passenger, 25-year-old Alex Garcia, was then heard asking the backseat passenger for a gun.
After the driver continued to refuse to exit the vehicle, and Sauvage told the occupants to “stop reaching around,” the suspects abruptly opened fire on the officer, wounding him in the hand. Sauvage returned fire, and retreated back to his patrol vehicle, where he continued to shoot at the pickup truck. The injury to his right hand resulted in his pistol malfunctioning several times during the exchange.
Sauvage dropped his radio, which was rendered inoperable by a bullet, during the shootout, and had to ask passersby to call the police for backup. Both male suspects were pronounced dead at the scene, and a third female occupant was shot in the torso and transported to a hospital for treatment. According to police, she has not yet been charged. Sauvage’s injuries were not life-threatening.