22-year-old shot in head at strip club, Austin Police response times under question


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The family of a man shot at a northeast Austin strip club early Sunday morning said he is fighting for his life in the hospital.

The aunt of 22-year-old Alejandro Martinez told KXAN someone fired a bullet through a vehicle windshield outside of the Bare Cabaret on U.S. Highway 290, striking him above the eyebrow and exiting out of the back of his head.

22-year-old Alejandro Martinez was shot in the head at the Bare Cabaret strip club on Sunday, May 23, 2021. (Photo: Ashley Haugen)
22-year-old Alejandro Martinez was shot in the head at the Bare Cabaret strip club on Sunday, May 23, 2021. (Photo: Ashley Haugen)

As of Sunday night, Austin Police said it didn’t have a suspect in custody.

Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday drew attention to this incident on social media, pointing out it took 16 minutes for Austin police officers to arrive on scene after the 911 call was dispatched at 5:35 in the morning.

“I’m not trying to embarrass anybody, I’m not trying to do anything other than shine a light on why we need more police officers,” Casaday said. “We are in dire straits on staffing, and we need people to recognize that.”

Austin-Travis County EMS told KXAN paramedics were on scene by 5:42 a.m. and had begun taking Martinez to the hospital by 5:47, before Casaday claims APD arrived.

The Austin Police Department later clarified that the first officer arrived on scene in 13 minutes.

On Friday, the Austin Police Department announced it would be shifting its operations, moving 82 officer positions from specialized departments to fill the patrol shortage.

Response times have also historically been an issue for APD. Last year, a city audit that analyzed police data from 2018 showed that the Austin Police Department missed most of its 911 emergency response goals. For example, the total response time for emergencies was over 7 minutes, nearly a full minute past the goal the department set for itself.

At the time, the city told KXAN that longer response times may be out of the control of first responders. The city said traffic and far-away emergency calls might delay a response, which could be the case of the shooting at Bare Cabaret which is located on the farthest Northeast corner of Austin city limits.

The 144th APD Cadet class begins in early June, which will make an impact on patrol numbers. Once fully trained, these officers will join the force. However, Casaday says they won’t be fully ready until early 2022.

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