‘He didn’t hesitate’: Darrell Zemault’s neighbors recall him chasing down man after double stabbing

Megan Armstrong San Antonio News Leave a Comment

Fourteen years ago, Lisa Quiroz ran out her back door covered in blood and screamed for help.

Darrell Zemault Sr., killed Tuesday by San Antonio police serving two family violence warrants, heard her screams and gave chase to the man who had sliced her throat and stabbed her mother.

Zemault caught the man down the street and brought him back to the scene of the crimes, where he was arrested.

Quiroz, 49, and others who were there that day — Sept. 10, 2006 — recalled the events this week in the wake of Zemault’s death.

“Darrell, he didn’t think twice to run after that guy,” said Quiroz’s daughter, Catherine. “He knew what that guy did was wrong and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened with the guy who stabbed my mom.”

ON EXPRESSNEWS.COM: New details emerge about fatal shooting of West Side man by San Antonio police

Weeks before the double stabbing, Lisa let Andrew Gaede, a 20-year-old who needed a place to stay, move in with her family. They lived a block away from Zemault’s bungalow on the West Side.

On that Sunday afternoon, Lisa had asked Gaede to trim some branches that were poking through her backyard fence. Gaede grabbed an axe and started chopping, but soon turned to face Lisa.

“I hate people looking at me that way,” Lisa recalled him saying.

Confused, Lisa told him, “OK, well if you feel that way you can leave. Get your stuff and leave.”

Gaede dropped the axe and walked inside the house. Lisa hid the axe behind the garage, then followed him inside. She asked him again to leave because he had a job and apartment lined up, then sat down on a kitchen stool to watch television.

A few minutes later, Gaede rushed into the kitchen and grabbed Lisa from behind. He stabbed her 22 times with a knife, leaving her with a long scar across the base of her throat and another she covers with a bracelet.

Lisa’s mother, Esperanza, heard her screams and called out from her bedroom. Gaede left Lisa and went after Esperanza.

“Both women suffered several wounds to the upper torso,” the Express-News story from the following day notes.

Lisa fled out the back door and screamed for help. Catherine, who had been in the backyard, rushed to her side. Gaede came out of the house and sprinted down the street. Esperanza soon stumbled out the back door with a towel pressed against her bleeding neck.

Zemault and his wife, Susie, heard the screams and ran over.

“He asked me what happened and I remember saying, ‘He stabbed my mom. He went that way.’ He didn’t hesitate. He didn’t hesitate to go after him,” Catherine recalled.

Zemault caught up with Gaede. Along with another neighbor, he held Gaede down before leading him back to the scene.

“He caught him. That was the best part ‘cause this guy could have been on the run. He could come back. Who knows? But no. They got him,” Lisa said.

Gaede was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted capital murder, according to court records. He received a 40-year prison sentence in 2009. Both women, taken to University Hospital in critical condition, survived the attack.

Lisa said her mother, who has since died, “was never the same. She was scared. When we finally went to court, she was relieved because she knew when he got 40 years that he was going to be locked up.”

The memory was one of many shared by Zemault’s neighbors in recent days. A 55-year-old Black man, Zemault was shot in the back after a struggle with officers arresting him on warrants for violation of a bond and assault causing bodily injury.

“He was a really good guy,” Catherine said. “He might have made mistakes, we all make mistakes, but for what happened to him, all the stories that I hear, it doesn’t make sense. “

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