AUSTIN (KXAN) - With just six days before a court hearing for a February DWI charge, the 24-year-old man charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Senior Police Officer Jaime Padron is no stranger to law enforcement.
Brandon Montgomery Daniel is the man charged in the 41-year-old officer's death from a shooting at the Walmart off Interstate 35 near Parmer Lane.
Daniel was formally booked into the jail after 8:30 a.m., and no bail had been set Friday afternoon.
Daniel is charged with capital murder, and he already has an arrest history including a DWI charge from February. For that charge, he had a court appearance scheduled in just six days.
Records show that Daniel lived in an apartment complex at 3401 West Parmer Lane near the Walmart beginning in February 2011. Before that, he had several addresses in Colorado dating back to 2005. His Facebook page shows he attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, and that he attended high school in Parker, Colo.
Several squad cars and a crime scene unit were at the North Austin complex Friday afternoon. Neighbors interviewed said they did not know Daniel but some were unnerved about hearing of the events at Walmart.
Chief Art Acevedo said early Friday morning when he spoke to the media that he was pushing for the murder charge.
"We'll all work together to put together a case to present to a grand jury in this community and hopefully to a jury that will hold this person accountable for taking the life of an officer who was simply trying to do his job and keeping this community safe," said Acevedo.
If convicted of capital murder, Daniel could face the death penalty.
Meanwhile, Acevedo said he's sure Walmart surveillance cameras captured the incident unfolding.
"I'm confident we will have very dramatic video of this confrontation," he said.
That will be in addition to audio from Padron's dash cam recording device.
Padron had just more than three years on the force with APD. He was shot in the neck after Daniels allegedly immediately began fighting with him when Padron arrived on scene.
Padron was a father of two young daughters, ages 10 and 6. He leaves behind an ex-wife who lives in the area, parents and family in San Angelo.
Before serving on the force, Padron worked for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport police as part of the emergency management department that consolidated with APD in 2009. Before that, he was on the San Angelo Police Department for 14 years.
A web page that honors law enforcement officers killed while doing their duty set up a memorial page for him just hours after the shooting.
How to help
The nonprofit 100 Club of Central Texas has set up fund to assist Officer Padron's family
The incident on the eve of a holiday weekend jarred the police department.
"It's a tragedy on Good Friday to lose an officer like this, but it's part of what these men and women do," said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, told reporters at 6 a.m. "They know when they become police officers that this is ultimately the sacrifice they are willing to make."
Public Information Officer Anthony Hipolito said they got a 911 call at 2:20 a.m. of an intoxicated person wandering around the store. The officer who was killed was the first to arrive at the scene eight minutes after being dispatched to Walmart.
Timeline of events
- 2:20 a.m.: Walmart employee reports that a man who was intoxicated is wandering around the store
- 2:21 a.m.: Officers are dispatched
- 2:29 a.m.: First officer arrives
- 2:44 a.m.: Officer is pronounced dead
The officer was able to radio for help, saying he had been shot. Another officer arrived and took the suspect into custody after Walmart employees were able to take him down and disarm him.
The backup officer began administering CPR to the fallen officer.
"Despite the valiant efforts of our officer who started CPR, and EMS, the officer succumb to his injury and was pronounced at the scene at 2:44 a.m.," Acevedo said.
At the Walmart, onlookers witnessed the poignant scene of dozens of the fallen officer's colleagues dressed in blue lined up on both sides of a police vehicle and ambulance in front of the store, standing in salute when the officer's body was loaded into the vehicle and taken away.
Familiar with the strong ties of a tight-knit police family, Travis County sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene around 5:30 a.m. to offer their condolences to the department.
There were dozens of police at the store at 12900 North Interstate 35 near Parmer Lane early Friday morning.
The entire parking lot is off limits, as police have that and all entrances blocked off. No one can get into the Walmart, and a lot of people have not even been able to leave the store.
Acevedo said they are making sure to gather everything at the scene.
The Walmart and its parking lot will remain closed while the police investigation continues. Nearby businesses will be allowed to open, police said.
The deadly shooting early Friday morning came seven hours after another officer-involved shooting in East Austin
that ended in the death of a suspect and the officer involved hospitalized with injuries. The shootings are two completely separate incidents.
Acevedo said that officer came very close to losing his life and that he is thankful we are not talking about two dead officers Friday morning.
"Imagine two officer-involved shootings in one night," said Acevedo . "Our city is changing, and we just have to understand that we have to be cautious, and we have to be aware that as we continue to grow we are going to have challenges."
Fallen officer in 2004
It has been eight years since an Austin police office died in the line of duty. Amy Donovan was killed in October 2004 after being hit by a patrol car.
Donovan was on foot chasing Nicholas Jarmon when her rookie partner accidentally struck her with their patrol car.
Because of Donovan's death, APD changed its rookie policy so that two rookie officers are not working together.
In 2009, the Legislature considered enacting stronger penalties for those who run from police, but the measure did not pass.
The plaque is one of 20 markers put up around Austin to honor fallen officers.
The Austin Humane Society reopened to the public Friday after closing its doors for six weeks.
The freezing and near-freezing rain that swooped into Central Texas overnight prompted numerous school closings and delays and made for a harrowing morning commute on Friday.
A man is charged with murder in the shooting death Wednesday of a woman at a North Austin auto repair shop, police said Friday.
A man is expected to survive after being stabbed in the head at the Salvation Army shelter in Downtown Austin at about 3:45 a.m. Friday.
It's the first criminal charge following a yearlong criminal investigation into the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
With freezing temperatures pushing through the region, heating systems will likely be working overtime, which can bring rising energy bills.