AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man who Austin police originally said exchanged gunfire with officers in east Austin has had his most serious charge dismissed.
Lawrence Parrish’s attorney, Chris Tolbert, tells KXAN the state dropped the charge of aggravated assault against a public servant Wednesday morning, weeks before his client was set to go to trial.
Tolbert says the charge was dropped because Parrish never pointed or fired a weapon at officers the night of April 7, 2017.
The Austin Police Department admitted several days after the shooting that Parrish never fired his rifle at the officers. “We now believe, based on where we are at in the investigation, that he did not fire, even though our officers that night at the scene believed that he had, in fact, had fired the weapon,” explained Chief Brian Manley at the time.
The officer closest to Parrish’s apartment at 6321 Parliament Dr. said he fired two rounds at Parrish because he saw him “raise the rifle towards his direction.” The officer then ducked down and heard more gunshots. In all, four officers shot at Parrish.
Parrish, 32, was taken to the hospital where he had to get his finger amputated, says his attorney. Tolbert believes there’s a bigger issue of police accountability since his client has been held in jail since the shooting on a $500,000 bond for the charge of aggravated assault against a public servant.
Parrish’s attorney says his client did plead guilty to an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge that stemmed from an argument he had with a friend, which led to the police being called.