Friends shocked to hear news about man killed in standoff

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Sawyer Flache, 27, grew up in Brownfield, outside of Lubbock in west Texas. Many of his friends and family still live there.

Peter Boen, a friend of Flache’s from growing up, talked to KXAN via Skype on Monday.

“He had great parents, great friends and family,” said Boen. “I mean, everybody just loved Sawyer.”

He says those who know him well were shocked to learn about what had happened.

Around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, 911 calls came in about a man with multiple weapons shooting out street lights on Pax Drive in Southwest Austin. Austin Police showed up, and for more than an hour, they were in a standoff situation.

As one of APD’s helicopters hovered overhead, police say Flache shot at the chopper. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo showed the damage done to the aircraft during a news conference Monday afternoon. He says his officers chose to keep flying despite taking shots from Flache.

Acevedo says the department will release the video soon. He also says it shows Flache was directly targeting the chopper, putting the officers’ lives in danger.

Ultimately, a SWAT team officer shot and killed Flache just after midnight Sunday.

It was quiet Monday around Flache’s home. But still, there were signs of the deadly standoff that happened there.

APD detectives went door-to-door talking to neighbors. Utility crews were also on the street fixing the street lights police say Flache shot out. A friend of came by, knelt in front of flowers that have been place in the driveway, and paid his respects.

“Sawyer was not an animal,” said Boen. “Sawyer was one of the best, most kind-hearted guys that you could ask for.”

Boen says Flache’s actions over the weekend are nothing like that of the friend with whom he grew up. He doesn’t know what exactly was going on in Flache’s personal life, but knows things weren’t right.

“I guess in his final day he had too much, and instead of reaching out for help, he just went about it the wrong way,” Boen said, “and it was a life-ending decision.”

Flache was a father to two young daughters. He graduated from Texas State University in May 2013.

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