‘I’m not afraid.’ San Marcos drive-by shooting victim speaks out as police make arrest

Hays

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — San Marcos police arrested a man in connection to a shooting that injured two people outside a bar at the Square in San Marcos in December, according to the San Marcos Police Department.

New Braunfels resident Vincent Charles Favata III, 44, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of deadly conduct/discharge of a firearm. Favata remains in the Hays County Jail on a $300,000 bond.

  • Police scene after shooting at Harper's
  • San Marcos shooting Harper's

According to the arrest report from Hays County Law Enforcement Center, Favata’s associate was removed from Harper’s bar after refusing to leave when he learned that the bar was closed for a private employee Christmas party.

At this time, San Marcos police say a baseball cap fell off the man’s head which bore the letters/emblem “EPC” — later to be found to stand for “Elite Piping and Civil LTD,” which would help police identify the suspect as Favata.

At around 1:08 a.m., police say that Favata was parked in the northeast corner of the San Marcos downtown square and shot at least nine shots across Hopkins Street into Harper’s.

Vincent Favata mug
Vincent Favata. Photo courtesy of Hays County Jail

Police say two male victims were standing in front of the bar and were hit in the arm and abdomen — several others were inside. San Marcos police say they were taken to a Kyle hospital and released.

Favata was then said to be seen getting into a newer model SUV that drove away toward the Texas State University campus.

Police say 9mm FC Luger shell casings were found inside the SUV which was reported to be parked in the northeast corner of a parking lot near the San Marcos courthouse.

Texas State police provided video of the vehicle driving in the area and moving toward a nearby H-E-B. The grocery store also provided video of the vehicle moving in its vicinity — most notably driving the wrong way behind the store.

Images of the vehicle — also supplied from nearby Gumby’s Pizza — helped provide matches and a license plate number, enabling police to tie the vehicle to Favata. Images of the vehicle were also found on Favata’s Facebook page.

Additionally, in the Gumby’s Pizza footage, police say Favata can be seen handling the gun through the car’s steering wheel.

Witnesses told KXAN they heard multiple gunshots early in the morning of Dec. 17 outside of Harper’s bar. Police say witnesses told them about hearing between five to seven shots. Witnesses said two people standing outside were shot by a man parked in the 100 block of North LBJ Drive. That person then left the scene and headed east on Hopkins Street in a silver SUV.

Picture of sign showing Harper's closed for holiday party
Shooting at Harper’s bar in San Marcos reportedly left two people with injuries. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

The bar owner, Sean Neal, told KXAN both victims were employees and there were about 200 people inside the bar at the time for a private holiday party.

“I’m Not Afraid”

The victim of the shooting spoke exclusively to KXAN on Monday. He shared the hectic moments leading up to the gunfire.

“We were all kind of standing around talking, and the next thing we heard was popping sounds and everyone hit the ground,” the victim said. He asked us to keep his identity anonymous since its possible Favata may be let out on parole.

“I stood up and everyone was saying, ‘Everyone ok?’ And I looked down and had blood coming out of my jacket and out of my shirt.”

The victim, a bouncer at Harper’s, was shot through his right forearm. The bullet exited his arm just below his elbow and grazed his upper rib cage. The other victim was also shot through the arm, the victim said.

“This isn’t Austin, this isn’t Sixth Street. We don’t have those kinds of problems. For us to have a shooting is unheard of,” the victim said.

Hunter Schuler, a 27-year-old graduate student at Texas State University, said he think this incident is an example of an increase in violent crime in San Marcos.

“It feels like every month or so there’s another violent homicide,” Schuler said. “For someone to commit such a violent attack, so brazenly, out here in the middle of the town square really just blew my mind.”

Ever since that shooting in mid-December, bar owners in downtown San Marcos have changed their security standards. The owner of Freddy C’s, the bar next to Harper’s, installed new surveillance cameras outside which point to the intersection where police say Favata was parked.

The victim said Harper’s has added more bouncers and security guards to patrol every night, and the bartender at The Porch, the bar on the other side of Harper’s, said management has added tourniquets to their first aid kit supply.

Despite bar owners taking safety more seriously, the actual employees said there’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to socializing and working downtown.

“San Marcos is home for me now. This bar is my home. I’m not afraid to come to work anymore. I’m not afraid to come to work,” the victim said.

Violent Crimes in downtown San Marcos district (numbers provided by City)

OffenseIncidents Downtown in 2019
Rape3
Fondling1
Aggravated Assault14
Simple Assault35
Human Trafficking, Commercial Sex Acts2
Animal Cruelty1
Disorderly Conduct11

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