Margaret McCombs, 21, a gym patron, was shot multiple times and her friend, Juan Carlos “J.C.” Escamilla, 31, who joined the Planet Fitness gym in 2009 and had taken a part-time job there less than two weeks ago, was killed in a targeted attack as they were leaving the gym in the NE Loop 410 at McCullough.
Meanwhile, the 27-year-old suspect, Yu Masaki, who faces several charges was told not to return to the gym because of his “extremely aggressive advances” toward women there, police said. One of those women was McCombs, who refused his overtures and declined to take a gift he offered her. She was in critical but stable condition at University Hospital.
Around 7:15 p.m. Sunday, McCombs and Escamilla with at least two other gym employees left Planet Fitness. One of the employees later told police that a man, wearing dark clothing, suddenly ran towards them, pointing a gun and firing it while Escamilla was walking McCombs to her vehicle.
The report states the gunfire stopped and Escamilla, with his hands against his chest, stumbled towards his coworker, who had ducked behind a car. The witness recalled that Masaki chased McCombs as she fled and he heard more gunfire. As the witness tried to help Escamilla, he then saw Masaki running back towards them, the report states.
The witness ran into a nearby electronics store, where he heard even more shots and saw a small black car speed away. Escamilla was on the ground and no longer responsive. He was shot in the face and upper torso. The witness ran to McCombs, who was bleeding from the neck. She told him Yu, “the Japanese boy,” had shot her, according to the report and other police accounts.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said San Antonio police swarmed the shopping center and a manhunt was launched. Officers set up surveillance Monday at Masaki’s address at the Wood Hollow Apartment Homes in the 10300 block of Sahara Street.
About 10 minutes later, a sergeant at the scene said officers spotted Masaki leaving his residence. He carried a television and as officers drew their weapons and approached him, he dropped it and reached for a gun tucked in the waistband of his pants, McManus said.
The chief said there was a “short scuffle” and Masaki was arrested. Masaki had what appeared to be a cut on his head and a bloody lip. It could have been much worse, McManus said, later adding that officers “did a great job in disarming him without having to use deadly force.”
Masaki said nothing as he was escorted out of police headquarters. He was charged with murder, attempted murder and attempted aggravated assault of a public servant. His bail was set at $300,000. A public records search turned up no civil or criminal filings against Masaki.