Charges dropped in deadly north Austin shooting, police investigate new leads


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police are refocusing an investigation after one of the victims of a shooting in north Austin and witnesses say they arrested the wrong man. They say charges against Hector Mario Guajardo-Garcia, 32, have been dropped as of Jan. 23.

“The second living victim has decided not to cooperate with this continuing investigation and has recanted on his statement identifying Guajardo-Garcia as the shooter, to include saying he picked the wrong person out of the photo lineup he was given,” police wrote in a release.

Guajardo-Garcia was initially identified as the person who allegedly shot two people at 9616 N. Lamar Blvd. before midnight on Nov. 23, 2017. Samuel Charlez, 23, and the other victim were taken to the hospital in private vehicles. Charlez was rushed into surgery but died about a week later.

The second victim and witnesses now say Guajardo-Garcia was not the shooter, and instead point to a “younger Hispanic male,” according to Austin police. Guajardo-Garcia is still a person of interest, but police say they can’t justify keeping him in jail under the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges.

APD is still looking for suspects and is trying to get more information about a blue Chevrolet Suburban or Tahoe seen entering and leaving the parking lot where the shooting happened. Anyone with information can call APD at 512-477-3588 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS.

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