Nearby businesses say deadly shooting happened at known game room

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- A woman is dead and three other people injured in a North Austin shooting, Monday night.

Officers were called to Wagon Trail, which is just southwest of Braker Lane and North Lamar Boulevard, at 10:39 p.m. after reports of a shooting. A woman in her 40s died at the scene from a gunshot wound, according to Austin-Travis County EMS. Three other people were sent to University Medical Center Brackenridge with non-life threatening injuries.

Investigators said the shooting was an isolated incident and the public is not in danger.

"At this time it's still unknown what took place prior to officers arrival to the scene," said Senior Police Office Christopher Irwin. "There doesn't appear to be any immediate danger to the public. It's an ongoing investigation."

Police are still trying to determine if the incident happened at a business or a home. KXAN Reporter Kylie McGivern says a sign at the business in question has "Wagon Game Room" written on it.

One of the suspects in the case is described as a black male, mid to late 20s, around six foot one inches tall and 180-190 pounds. The second suspect is described as a black female, late 20s to early 30s, around five foot nine inches tall and 220-240 pounds.

Over the past year, KXAN has been monitoring game rooms across the city, even helping shut one down. Police say they're magnets for criminals, because of the massive amount of money filtered through their hidden operations. They're like miniature casinos, but they're not supposed to pay out cash prizes more than five dollars. Remember, gambling is illegal in Texas, but police say game rooms are popping up all over Austin.

Neighbors on Wagon Trail say the operations were no secret.

"Everybody in this area knows about it," Austin Auto Sales Owner Sam Esawy said, explaining the supposed game room's door manager has been to his business, "We know what they're doing because of him."

Esawy told KXAN no one is allowed inside the place unless they're on a list. "And the door's always locked," Esawy added. "You can't go in there."

The business owner said he first noticed activity in the area a couple years ago, and  felt the need to increase security by adding surveillance cameras and moving the closing time up from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.

"I've hung out here one night, doing just stuff and it's just - you wouldn't want to be outside in that area at that time. It's just, it's not safe. It doesn't feel like it's safe. And that's when we decided we need to get out of here earlier," he said.

The lack of safety is something Esawy hopes police address in the wake of Monday's deadly shooting.

Surveillance cameras from Nettle Props, a neighboring business, captured video of two suspects leaving the scene of the shooting. The video even shows one of the suspect's firing a weapon several times and another limping out of the building.

"Any time you can help law enforcement out and catch the crooks, it's a good thing," Nettle Props Owner J.T. Nettle said, showing KXAN the footage he provided police.

So far police have not released any information about the suspects. They are asking anyone with information to call the Austin Police Homicide Tip Line at (512)477-3588.

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