AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police shot and killed a man after they said he opened fire on officers from a pickup truck in southeast Austin Thursday morning, according to the Austin Police Department.
The incident took place near an apartment complex in the 1500 block of Crossing Place. That’s near East Riverside Drive and South Pleasant Valley Road.
APD Chief of Police Joseph Chacon said just before 5 a.m., a 911 caller reported a man was in a vehicle pointing a gun at other people.
Officers responded, and around 5:11 a.m. they found a black pickup truck with a man inside. As officers approached the truck, the driver-side door opened.
That’s when officers began to give commands to the man sitting inside to come out with his hands in the air. Chacon said “within seconds” of the truck door opening, the man began firing at officers.
Officers took cover and returned gunfire, Chacon said, then continued to give commands to the man who was inside the truck and still moving. The man did not comply.
By 5:30 a.m., officers approached the truck, and once they ensured it was safe, they began to administer life-saving measures to the man.
Austin-Travis County EMS also arrived on scene to help, but the man was pronounced dead at 5:37 a.m., according to Chacon. No officers were hurt.
The man hasn’t been identified yet, but Chacon said he’s in possibly in his 40s.
Five officers total were involved in the shooting, including two officers in training:
- Officer with 7.5 years of experience with APD (field-training officer)
- Officer with 4.5 years of experience with APD (field-training officer)
- Officer with five years of experience with APD
- Two officers in training (about four months with APD)
All will be placed on administrative leave, as per APD protocol, Chacon said. Both a criminal and administrative investigation will take place, and video from the shooting will be released within 10 days. Footage was captured on the officers’ body-worn cameras, according to Chacon.
So far, this is the fourth officer-involved shooting this year for APD. Here’s a look at the total of police shootings for APD each year, dating back to 1990.
Chacon called gun violence in the Austin community an “epidemic.”
“This is the second time in as many weeks that we’ve had officers that as they’re arriving on scene, as they’re approaching, are encountering gunfire that is coming directly from individuals,” Chacon said.
He said APD is working with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorneys Office and federal law enforcement partners on ways they can curb gun violence — from both a prevention and reactive standpoint.
Chacon also urged gun owners to lock up their guns, so they don’t fall into the wrong hands.
“I encourage our community to safety secure your firearms. Do not let them fall into the hands of those that would do bad things with them and commit crimes,” said Chacon.
He also said gun crimes make it more difficult to recruit officers.
“We need a community that is really working with us, that is vigilant, and that is engaged with one another, because I don’t have nearly the number of officers that I need to be able to patrol every street, every night,” Chacon said.