Austin shooting: Finding ex-law enforcement suspect can be difficult, former APD detective says

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Authorities arrested former detective Stephen Broderick on Monday morning after 20 hours on the run. He is suspected of shooting and killing three people Sunday.

This is a breaking news update. Here is prior coverage of the case and why Broderick was harder than most to track down:

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police, the FBI and several other law enforcement agencies are helping with the search for an ex-law enforcement fugitive, who is the main suspect in a deadly Austin shooting.

According to APD, 41-year-old Stephen Broderick is suspected of shooting and killing three people in northwest Austin on Sunday. He’s a former Travis County Sheriff’s Office detective.

Broderick was initially placed on leave in June 2020 after being charged with sexual assault of a child that month. He bonded out of jail days after his arrest, and resigned from the sheriff’s office, according to a spokeswoman.

Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza said in a statement that his office filed a motion to revoke Broderick’s bond on Sunday. The office is “actively supporting the Austin Police Department and law enforcement who are using all available resources to apprehend” Broderick, according to the statement.

Police spent most of Sunday afternoon searching for Broderick near the scene of the incident, putting a shelter-in-place in effect during the search. Just before 5 p.m., police lifted the shelter in place, though Broderick is still on the loose.

“I’m sad and I’m frustrated,” District 10 Austin City Council Representative Alison Alter said. “We do not have to live like this.”

Alter is feeling a lot of raw emotions after a deadly shooting happened in the area she represents.

“Why is it that an accused sex offender has access to a gun?” Alter asked.

Eighteen different Austin-Travis county agencies responded to the area, looking for Broderick.

“Is he on the run, is he hiding, is he barricaded some place?” former APD detective Anthony Nelson said.

Broderick having law enforcement experience can make finding him difficult, but Nelson said officers are thoroughly trained.

“When you talk about training for scenarios, those scenarios always come up,” he said.

In Nelson’s experience, he said lifting the shelter in place would come once the area was fully searched.

“That’s not going to be lifted just because it’s time. Just because it’s been too long,” Nelson said. “They’re going to lift it when they know.”

Still on edge, another community grieves while the search continues.

“This doesn’t have to happen,” Alter said.

The shooting victims have yet to be identified.

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