AUSTIN (KXAN) - Brandon Daniel, who was arrested in the April 6 killing of Senior Police Officer Jaime Padron in an North Austin Walmart, was indicted Wednesday on a charge of capital murder.
Padron, 40, was shot to death while responding to an early morning call about someone acting erratically inside the store. When he approached Daniel, 24, the officer was shot in the neck. Store employees subdued Daniel and tried desperately to save Padron's life, police said at the time.
Daniel, who reportedly had been drinking heavily and under the influence of Xanax in the hours before the shooting, could face the death penalty. Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg has not said yet whether she will seek the death penalty in the officer's killing.
Observers have said that a decision will likely wait while prosecutors make sure they have an air-tight case.
Padron's killing galvanized the Austin community, and his funeral was carried out throughout the course of several days in both Austin and in his hometown of San Angelo.
Earlier this month, members of the Austin Police Association paused to say thank you for the support in the aftermath of the death with the release of a video called "We Saw You."
"We've never seen such an outpouring of public support for a fallen brother," says Austin Police Officer Anthony Nelson said in the video that features scenes of ordinary people somberly watching the procession of cars that accompanied Padron's body on the journey home.
Padron joined the Austin Police Department just more than three years ago and also served as a police officer at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport as part of the Emergency Management Department that consolidated with APD in 2009
Before that, he spent 14 years as a police officer in San Angelo.
In Austin, Padron joined represented the North East Area Command for the Austin Police Officers Association's Board of Directors.
Before beginning his career in law enforcement, Padron served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was also deployed in both Gulf wars.
He was 40 and left behind two young daughters as well as parents and other family members who live in San Angelo.
Daniel has been in custody since the shooting. Last month, the Travis County Sheriff's Office confirmed that he had been hospitalized, but because of medical privacy laws, authorities could not say why.
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