AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police on Tuesday identified the man shot and killed by officers last Thursday morning in southeast Austin.
APD said Robert Hammitt, 48, opened fire on officers first from a pickup truck at 1500 Crossing Place. That’s near East Riverside Drive and South Pleasant Valley Road.
Austin 911 got a call about a man with a gun in the area of Faro Drive and Crossing Place just before 5 a.m. on May 26.
The caller, who identified himself as Hammitt, said a man was pointing a gun at him. Hammitt described the armed man to dispatchers as a white man wearing tan clothing with a rifle inside a black Ford F-150.
Officers arrived on scene and found a man and truck fitting the description, APD said. However, the man in the truck was also later identified as Hammitt.
Officers got out of their marked vehicles and walked up to the truck. Two officers tried to speak with Hammitt, who was sitting inside the truck on the driver’s side, according to APD. Officers began giving commands to Hammitt to bring his hands outside the truck window and exit.
APD said within seconds of the truck door opening, Hammitt began firing shots at the officers. They ran for cover and returned fire at the truck using their APD-approved guns.
The officers stayed covered and told Hammitt again to show his hands and stop moving, according to APD. Officers continued instructing Hammitt while also identifying themselves as Austin police. Officers asked Hammitt to come out of the truck, so they could give him medical attention, however, APD said Hammitt didn’t respond.
Officers walked up to the truck and removed Hammitt from the vehicle. APD said officers checked to make sure he didn’t have the gun on him before giving medical aid.
Austin-Travis County EMS continued that medical help once crews arrived on scene two minutes later, according to APD. Hammitt succumbed to his injuries and died at the scene at 5:37 a.m.
A gun was found inside the truck where Hammitt was sitting, on the driver-side floorboard. No officers or people in the area were injured during the shooting.
APD said five of its officers were involved in the shooting and were placed on administrative leave. Some of the officers were in training:
- Officer with 7.5 years of experience with APD (field-training officer)
- Officer with five years of experience with APD (field-training officer)
- Officer with 4.5 years of experience with APD
- Two officers in training (about four months with APD)
Two investigations will be carried out: a criminal one done by the APD Special Investigations Unit alongside the Travis County District Attorney’s Office and an administrative one done by the APD Internal Affairs Unit with oversight from the Office of Police Oversight.
Anyone with details about this shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (512) 472-TIPS.