AUSTIN (KXAN) — Four people were injured and one person died in a northwest Austin shooting Saturday night, the Austin Police Department confirmed. Some of them were Jarrell High School students, Jarrell police confirmed Sunday.
At 10:19 p.m., 911 received multiple reports about a shooting at a hookah lounge at 12636 Research Blvd.
Austin police arrived at 10:21 p.m. and found several victims with gunshot wounds. Police said they began life-saving measures until Austin-Travis County EMS arrived.
ATCEMS said five patients were involved in the shooting. One person was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:42 p.m. Two patients were taken to local trauma facilities with critical, life-threatening injuries.
APD identified the person who died as 17-year-old Brayden Bolyard. Police said there is a person of interest connected with the shooting.
Investigators believe the shooter knew one of the victims, APD said in a release. The suspect shot him and four other victims before leaving the scene.
Jarrell ISD said in a statement “it was saddened by the loss” of one of its students. Another student is still in the hospital.
“We are profoundly saddened by the loss of one of our students. He was a gifted student and athlete who made a lasting impression on our district. The loss of this young life will have a significant impact on our school community. A team of counselors, including grief counselors and mental health providers from Bluebonnet Trails and Impact Services, are providing support services to our students and staff. Our hearts and prayers are with the family and the family of the student still in the hospital. We ask you to join us in keeping these families and our community in your thoughts during this time,” the district wrote in a statement
The other two patients were taken to local trauma facilities, and neither of those patients had life-threatening injuries. One had serious injuries, according to ATCEMS.
Whitley Degollado works nearby and said she saw the aftermath of the shooting.
“They were just covered in blood. It was horrific,” Degollado said.
She said most of those at the lounge were teenagers that night.
“There was like an argument that got heated and escalated and then shots just started firing out,” Degollado said. “They were just like doubled over like hyperventilating and crying.”
An APD spokesperson said this was an isolated incident and believed there was no known threat to the public. Police said there was no information about the suspect. APD said it was speaking with witnesses and hoped to have more details soon.
Jarrell police said Sunday it didn’t plan to release more details as it and other agencies investigated, but said it wanted to “offer our most sincere condolences and support to the families and friends of the victims.” It added it would work with Jarrell Independent School District to “ensure the safety and security of its students and staff,” and that it would provide school resource officers in addition to the district’s mobilized crisis team and counselors to meet with anyone in the school community who needs it.
Degollado said it seems shootings are becoming more common in this part of Austin.
“North Austin is not like it used to be. I mean, this used to be like the suburbs when we first moved here,” she said.
APD said this was being investigated as Austin’s eighth homicide in 2023.
Anyone with information should call the Austin Police Department at 512-974-TIPS. You can submit your tip anonymously through the Capital Area Crime Stoppers Program by visiting austincrimestoppers.org or calling 512-472-8477. A reward of up to $1,000 may be available for any information that leads to an arrest.