AUSTIN (KXAN) — Eight Austin police officers shot and killed a man early Friday morning in downtown Austin near Sixth Street. The man was shot multiple times.
While police have not identified the man, according to our sister station in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, family members have confirmed he is 21-year-old Aquantis Griffin. He’s a rapper from Baton Rouge.
“Tonight was a very, very dynamic situation which involved video footage from multiple cameras,” Assistant Chief Troy Gay said, adding that investigators are reviewing evidence from both public safety cameras and body cameras.
Ahead of the shooting, there had been multiple fights outside an NBA YoungBoy concert at the Terminal 6 club at 302 E. Sixth Street around 12:21 a.m., Gay said. Because of the large crowd inside the club, officers called for backup and asked the Austin Fire Department to check the capacity around midnight. The Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission was also asked to come to the club.
Witnesses who were on Sixth Street at the time said they saw the man who was later shot get kicked out of Terminal 6 for fighting with a couple of other men. Those same witnesses said they saw him take the argument outside.
Officers were already on alert about fights out front when shots were fired in a parking lot at the back of the club around 1 a.m.
Police say at least two people with guns fired multiple times. Officers on Sixth Street and Trinity Street approached the alley when they heard gunshots and said a man ran toward them with a gun in his hand. Gay says officers gave him multiple commands.
“On one of these videos, the individual’s weapon points in the direction of these officers,” Gay said. “At that point, we had eight officers fire toward this individual and one officer fired a less lethal, which was a Taser.”
Family identifies man killed
APD press conference
Officers performed CPR and Austin-Travis County EMS said they took the man to the hospital with critical, life-threatening injuries. Police say the man was pronounced dead at 1:22 a.m. Police say they don’t have information that anyone else was hurt.
“It was a scary moment, to be honest with you,” said one witness, who said watching what unfolded was like nothing he’d ever seen. “I’m an Austinite. I’ve been here all my life. This ain’t Austin. You know, I know times have changed, but come on.”
The officers who fired, including the one who fired a stun gun, are all on administrative leave per department policy. They have between one and six years of service with APD.
The TABC says it is investigating Terminal 6 to see if the business’ “policies or practices may have contributed to the incident.” The agency says it has investigated complaints at Terminal 6 in the past related to allegations of serving alcohol to minors and intoxicated customers, but no violations were actually found.
The agency says the club received a written warning in June for failing to report a “breach of the peace.” Businesses are expected to report things such as fighting or other violent incidents that happen in a club to the TABC within five days or within 24 hours for a death or serious injury.
Despite the shooting, police records for the downtown sector, detailed in the Chief’s Monthly Crime Reports, show violent crime is down nearly 22 percent from this time last year.