Reward offered for person who shot, killed man in South Lamar apartment

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The man found dead in a south Austin apartment building on Monday was shot and killed by an unknown person, the Austin Police Department said.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible. Friends have also set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to add to that reward.

Officers were called to 1500 S. Lamar Blvd. at 1:43 p.m. for a report of shots fired inside the Post South Lamar apartments.

Officers found Christian Meroney, 32, with a gunshot wound and joined witnesses who were trying to help save him. 

Meroney was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:56 p.m., police said.

The victim's best friend, who asked not to be named, said, "He was the most respected and amiable guy I know. A walking encyclopedia of knowledge and a friend like a brother to me that taught me to love first and foremost before anything else. I’m in utter shock that anyone would do this to him.”

Evidence left in the building was collected and is being processed in an effort to identify the suspect, Austin police said.

A neighbor said hours before the shooting she noticed several normally locked doors to the building were being held open with zip ties. 

A longtime friend of the victim's, Nadia Fern Capehart, who grew up with Meroney, said, “Christian really was a fun, friendly, kind and caring person that offered people warmth and comfort and made them feel relevant. No one deserves to be viciously killed, and on the list of people that really didn’t deserve it was Christian. He is just one of the last people that you would ever think that something like this would happen to."

Capehart says she grew up with Meroney in the Dallas area. She is encouraging friends and family to use the hashtag #justiceforchristianmm on social media, in an effort to gather clues about what happened.

"To see if there's anything that we can drum up any piece of information," Capehart said. "The more people you get involved, the better chance you are to find something. Maybe someone who saw or heard or noticed something that didn’t seem to matter might stick out to them now, and we might have a chance."

The Travis County medical examiner ruled the manner of death a homicide. Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Tip Line at 512-477-3588 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS.

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