Victim shot, killed at northeast Austin apartment complex identified

Crime

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police identified the man shot and killed at the Heights on Parmer apartment complex in northeast Austin Tuesday afternoon as 26-year-old Joshua Hardesty.

Austin police officers and Austin-Travis County EMS medics were called to 1500 E. Parmer Ln. — just west of Dessau Road — at 2:57 p.m.

First responders found Hardesty on the ground on the north side of the apartment complex with trauma to the center of his body, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An APD spokesperson said Wednesday investigators believe this was a drug deal that went wrong. 

“A white dog believed to belong to Hardesty remained with him until picked up by animal protection officers,” police said in a release.

According to the Austin Animal Services, the dog is doing well considering what happened. 

Cliff Hardesty, Joshua’s father, spoke to KXAN over the phone Wednesday about his son’s tragic death.

He said he last spoke to Joshua two days before the shooting because they were planning a weekend getaway to go mountain biking. He said he wanted Joshua to bring his 10-year-old son, who still does not know that his father’s been killed. 

Hardesty said his son was very likable and had lots of friends, so he cannot believe that someone would want to harm him. 

“I want these people found. I want to know why, and I want justice to be served,” Hardesty said, “because my son did not deserve to be brutally murdered like this.”

Police said Joshua Hardesty, 26, was shot and killed outside a north Austin apartment complex Tuesday. His beloved dog, Zero, was found next to him unharmed. (Credit: Cliff Hardesty) 

Police did not identify a suspect but said it’s possible multiple people may be involved. APD’s homicide and organized crime units were at the scene investigating.

Witnesses who saw something or have a video of the shooting are asked to call 911. An APD spokesperson said detectives are speaking to dozens of witnesses who either saw what happened or showed up soon after the shooting.

There was possibly an exchange of gunshots during the incident based on the number of shots heard.

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