Echaniz

Michael Echaniz at graduation from Christendom College.

San Antonio police have charged a person in the March killing of a Christendom College graduate.

Michael Echaniz, 23, was allegedly murdered outside his San Antonio apartment complex by Matthew Wiessing, 25, on March 10, according to San Antonio Police Department Lt. Michelle Ramos.

Wiessing was arrested on March 24 on the murder charge after the San Antonio police developed enough probable cause for a warrant, Ramos said by phone interview Thursday.

Wiessing was arrested without incident, Ramos said. He was released on a $250,000 bond, with no next court date set, according to Bexar District Court records.

Echaniz had been dating a woman who Wiessing had dated months prior to the shooting, Ramos said.

“[It's] a very sad case,” Ramos said.

Just before 7 a.m. March 10, police received a call about shots being fired outside Echaniz's home on the north side of the city, Ramos said.

Officers and emergency service personnel arrived on the scene to find Echaniz had been shot several times, Ramos said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The day of Echaniz’s death, the police department received a phone call from one of Wiessing's family members stating that they may have information about his involvement with the shooting and that he was acting differently than normal, Ramos said.

Police brought Wiessing in for questioning that night, but he was evasive in answering questions and was released, Ramos said.

Investigators stayed on the case and were able to find video footage of the incident with a description matching Wiessing's, as well as witness statements and other evidence, Ramos said.

The warrant for Wiessing's arrest states that the video footage showed Wiessing arriving at the apartment complex about 30 minutes prior to the shooting, and leaving the scene as the first 911 call was made.

On the morning of March 10, Echaniz was dressed in professional attire as he was heading to work as an elementary school teacher. A recently cooked waffle was found in the door of his car indicating that he was entering it when the shooting happened, the warrant states.

Burned gunpowder on Echaniz’s right hand indicated that he raised his hand in attempt to defend himself, the warrant states. Witnesses said they heard three or four shots, the warrant states.

The weapon used in the shooting was a 9mm handgun, Ramos said in video footage of a press conference following the arrest, and Wiessing's family member had said it was missing from their home. The weapon had not been recovered by the time of Wiessing’s arrest, Ramos said in the video.

Echaniz graduated in 2020 from Christendom College in Front Royal, where he participated in plays, musicals and its debate society, a statement from the school reads.

In 2016, Echaniz graduated from Chelsea Academy in Front Royal, which has since set up a memorial fund that will give an award and stipend to a teacher each year.

“This award, along with a stipend, will be given annually to a teacher that promotes academic excellence in his or her classroom and dedication to the arts, facilitates athletic achievement and competition, and cultivates school spirit — all the qualities in a teacher that Michael both held dear and embodied himself,” a webpage for the fund reads.

Contact Charles Paullin at cpaullin@nvdaily.com

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