AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police are investigating a homicide Thursday morning after they said they found a man’s body near Barton Springs Pool.
During a news conference, Senior Patrol Officer Demitri Hobbs told reporters police initially responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle at 7:15 a.m. in the 2200 block of Barton Springs Rd. The caller reported shots through a car window. When police got there, Hobbs said they found a blood trail near the sedan, and then spotted a man’s body on the pool grounds.
APD identified the man as 27-year-old Camnik Eugene Campbell.
During the on-scene investigation, police determined Campbell was shot. Police said they have no suspects in custody at this time. They added they believe this is an isolated incident.
Because of homicide detectives on scene, a spokesperson for the Austin Parks and Recreation Department shared Thursday the Zilker Park Playground and the parking lot next to Barton Springs Pool will remain closed at this time. It’s unclear when they may reopen to the public. The pool is closed Thursday for its regular cleaning and maintenance, the department noted.
“I’m a little bit surprised, because we don’t have that many violent offenses in Austin,” said Matthew Natarajan, who is a native. “But as Austin tends to grow… I’m not like flabbergasted that we are starting to see an increase of violent crimes.”
Glenn, who has lived near Zilker Park for about 15 years now, said he doesn’t see police tape here often, but it does happen.
“It just seems to be more normalized now than it was in the past. It’s tragic,” he said.
Right now, we have 52 cases — which is equal to the amount at this time in 2021. Austin also has more people living here than ever before.
If you look at the red line running through the graph, it shows the homicide rate — the number of cases per 100,000 residents. You can see it’s nowhere near the record level it hit in 1982.
“I’m not terribly threatened by anyone that’s moving here. I know Austin has a very good population and community,” Natarajan said. “But you understand that there are outliers that will land in the city and bad apples who are willing to commit crime.”
He said he hopes Austin doesn’t see much more of it in the future, and he and Glenn said they plan to keep utilizing Austin’s green spaces with their families.
“I’m still gonna utilize the parks, and enjoy them and take care of them as best I can,” said Glenn.
“I think we’re here for the long term,” Natarajan said.
Wednesday morning, another homicide occurred at another popular Austin park, Auditorium Shores. Police said a middle-aged man died. A passerby called 911 just before 7 a.m. to report the death at Auditorium Shores after finding an unresponsive man lying in the park. A 30-year-old man was arrested and charged with murder, police said in a Thursday update.
Officers said “although the homicides are considered isolated incidents, it [APD] will be increasing patrols in all city parks to help deter violent crimes.” APD had previously disbanded its parks patrol unit due to ongoing staffing shortages.
Investigators are asking the public for help and to come forward with any information. Anyone with details or video of the incident should call APD Homicide at (512) 974-TIPS, the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (512) 472-8477 or email APD Homicide. You may remain anonymous.