AUSTIN (KXAN) — One person was injured after a shooting in east Austin’s Givens Park Tuesday afternoon.
The Austin Police Department responded shortly after 3 p.m. to a shots fired call in the 3800 block of East 12th Street.
Austin-Travis County EMS took an adult with potentially serious injuries to a local trauma center with a gunshot wound.
KXAN is still waiting for further information about the suspect and circumstances surrounding the shooting, but an officer and Austin Police Association member posted on Twitter that the person shot was an “innocent bystander” sitting on a bench.
“Police were there in like 90 seconds, ambulances and everything,” said Kenaniah North, who said he saw a man firing shots at the park.
He took cell phone video of what he saw. The video is timestamped at 3:05 p.m., which matches the timeline of when officers said they responded to the shots fired call. Police have not yet commented further on the video or the shooting itself.
“Heard gunshots at first, and I didn’t even register that at first, because you don’t expect to hear gunshots in the middle of the day,” said North.
Givens Park has been home to shootings in the past, some deadly.
But it’s also a fixture in east Austin and recently received an award for having a strong community impact for six decades.
“The surrounding neighborhood is going through a lot of changes, and we’re seeing a lot of new neighbors. It is a vitally important new element to our entire city that we help them remember the legacy of Dr. Givens and his namesake this park,” said District 1 Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison in September.
The Austin Police Department had to disband its Parks Police Unit in 2020 but started upping patrols through parks after homicides at Barton Springs Pool and Auditorium Shores in August.
“Our entire board is vested in trying to make sure our parks continue to be safe and welcoming for everybody,” said Dawn Lewis, who’s on the board.
In April, Austin City Council approved a set of contracts to provide unarmed security guard services to multiple departments, including the Parks and Recreation Department.
The City said it does have a security guard assigned to patrol the Givens Recreation Center, which is in the same area as the park. The goal of the guard is to address things like vandalism, arson, park-rule violations and general safety concerns.
KXAN will update this article when the police department is able to provide a full update on the shooting itself.