AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police identified a suspect they are searching for after an argument allegedly led to a man being shot and killed in downtown early Friday.
At about 1:40 a.m., multiple callers reported that a man had been shot multiple times near Sixth and Sabine Streets. When authorities arrived, they found Derrick Armstrong, 29, with multiple bullet wounds.
Armstrong was rushed to Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas in critical condition, but he later succumbed to his injuries and was declared dead at 2:38 a.m.
Witnesses told police they saw Armstong and another man arguing near Waller Creek at the 600 block of Sabine Street.
“The men argued and ended up separating,” police wrote in a release. “The suspect returned and confronted Armstrong again. During this argument, the suspect produced a handgun and fired multiple rounds at Armstrong.”
Police identified the suspect as 19-year-old Ronnie Hardeman. Police said he fled the scene and remains at large as of Friday afternoon.
Sgt. Tracy Gerrish with the Homicide Unit said Austin police would maintain their increased presence downtown, which they began as an initiative during the first weekend of August in response to more violent crimes.
“All of our downtown officers are fully staffed,” Sgt. Gerrish said, “so we’re hoping a bigger police presence is keeping crime down.”
The Austin Police Association also posted a “caution advisory” Friday. The group’s Facebook post stated:
Due to the homicide early this morning and the recent increase in violent crimes in the downtown area, the Austin Police Association wants to encourage students and visitors to the take extra personal protection measures when visiting Downtown Austin. Below are a few safety tips:
1. Go out with a friend or a group of friends.
2. Be aware of your surroundings
3. Use well-lighted areas to walk or park. Try to avoid the
dark streets, alleys, or parking areas.
4. Have your keys ready when approaching your car
5. Keep your cell phone handy
6. Let at least one person know where you are or your itinerary (even if it is by text)
7.Avoid groups or situations that appear rowdy or antagonistic
8. Drink in moderation
9. Keep your purse or other personal items in your possession.
We want our college students and visitors to have a safe and enjoyable time in Austin. If you are a victim of crime call 9-1-1 or contact an officer patrolling the entertainment districts.
The Travis County Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy Saturday to determine the manner and cause of Armstrong’s death.
Anyone with video or information about the shooting is asked to provide an anonymous tip on the Crime Stoppers hotline at 512-472-TIPS or text “Tip 103” + your message to CRIMES.