AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police have arrested one man in connection with a shooting at Edward Rendon Sr. Park on Sunday. Two other people involved have not been found or arrested, yet.
Braylon Harper, 24, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony.
According to police, Harper and two other men got into a fight in the park, which escalated when a knife was brandished and Harper was stabbed. Police say Harper then fired a pistol at the men as they ran away, and a bullet hit a bystander.
The bystander was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Many people were in the park at the time, including a large group of car enthusiasts. Austin 911 received about 15 calls when the shots rang out.
Austinite Kenny Anshewitz was walking by the park when he heard the first round fired.
“I genuinely had no idea what was going on until another six or so shots were fired, and I looked back at the park and saw people running and saying, ‘Get down!’” Anshewitz said. “Which is sad, because there were families there just trying to have a good time on Easter.”
East Town Lake Citizens Neighborhood Association President Bertha Rendon Delgado says the East Austin community has held an Easter celebration in Rendon Park — also known as Chicano Park — every year since the 1980s.
“Yesterday’s incident was very shocking, as well as heartbreaking for those of us who are trying to preserve what’s left of our culture here in our neighborhood,” Delgado told KXAN Monday.
Just a week earlier, Delgado organized a rally in support of car club gatherings at the park, pushing back after some neighbors at a nearby apartment complex had complained about them.
Delgado says while a lowrider car meet was part of the Easter Sunday event, those involved in the incident weren’t part of it.
She says the shooting highlights the need for better safety measures in the park, which she’s been requesting for a while.
“I’ve asked for lighting. I’ve asked for patrols on Sunday,” Delgado said. “These are the demands and the recommendations that have been brought already to the Parks Department.”
Austin Parks and Recreation Department says it’s looking into any requests Delgado and her neighborhood group have made.
Meanwhile, APD is asking for the public’s help locating the other men involved. They’re described as being Hispanic. Investigators don’t believe there’s any further threat to the public.
A $1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a suspect.