APD releases body cam video of Christmas Eve shooting involving officer, man with rifle

Austin police at the scene of an officer-involved shooting

Austin police at the scene of an officer-involved shooting on Dec. 24, 2021 (KXAN Photo/Andrew Choat)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police provided an update Monday regarding an incident where an officer shot a man wielding a rifle on a highway on Christmas Eve.

Austin Police Department Chief Joseph Chacon led the press conference, where the department released 911 call audio and police radio traffic from that night, as well as body and dash cam footage capturing the shooting.

Austin police said officers responded to the area near U.S. Highway 183, Cameron Road and East Anderson Lane just after 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 24, 2021.

WARNING: Watch the full APD press conference in the video player below. Dash and body cam footage from the officer-involved shooting is shown. Viewer discretion is advised.

911 audio

A caller reported to 911 a two-vehicle crash at U.S. 183 and Cameron Road, and a man whose face was bleeding. After the first 911 call, other callers reported a shirtless man walking around the crash, carrying and waving a black rifle, police said.

“There’s a guy walking around with a gun in his hand, man,” one caller reported to 911 in the audio released Monday.

“He was screaming something, and he’s walking around in the middle of the intersection like, going back and forth under the bridge right there,” the caller continued. The same caller reported the rifle being carried by the man was black, and “it looked like an AR-15.”

Further updates from witnesses reported the man was also pointing the rifle at people and firing shots in the air. “He was pointing the gun at everybody,” another caller told 911. In all, three 911 call audios were released Monday.

APD later identified the man as Juventino Navejar, 29.

Dash cam, body cam footage

About 20 minutes after the first 911 call, an APD officer found Navejar with the rifle on the sidewalk, walking south in the 2400 block of the northbound U.S. 183 frontage road, APD said. That officer was identified on Monday by Chacon as Officer Javier Rodriguez.

Dash cam video released by APD shows Rodriguez racing toward the scene. He stops his patrol car in the left lane, right after passing a car pulled over on the right side of the road with its hazard lights on.

APD said Officer Rodriguez got his gun, got out of the car and began commanding Navejar to drop his rifle. Body cam footage shows Rodriguez standing behind his patrol vehicle after initially getting out of the car. He gave commands from there.

“Police! Drop that gun!” Rodriguez yelled at Navejar. Though the dash cam footage is dark, you can see a figure walking along the right-hand shoulder, which is presumably Navejar.

APD said Navejar didn’t listen to commands and continued to move toward Rodriguez with the rifle. That’s when Rodriguez fired one shot, hitting Navejar, who fell to the ground, police said. Rodriguez was able to move the rifle away from Navejar.

Dash cam video captured Rodriguez yelling “Drop the rifle! Drop the rifle!” before shots rang out. You can see the dark figure along the right-hand shoulder then fall to the ground.

“Shots fired, 1 subject down,” Rodriguez relayed to his fellow officers, as well as his location. Rodriguez then appears on dash cam video walking into frame from the passenger side of the car.

He continued commanding Navejar not to move while walking toward him. Body cam footage shows when Rodriguez reached Navejar, he was able to move the black rifle away from Navejar as he’s laying on the ground.

Finally, another patrol car arrived at the scene to help. “I need medical on him now!” Rodriguez shouted as backup officers ran toward Navejar. Near the end of the body cam video, officers can be seen hunching over Navejar, giving him help.

The entire incident from when Officer Rodriguez got out of his car to when Navejar began receiving medical treatment lasted about three minutes.

Navejar was taken to an area hospital in stable condition after the shooting. Chacon said he sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries that night. He’s still in custody, and no one else was hurt during the incident.

APD Chief Chacon said Officer Rodriguez has served two and a half years with APD and was placed on administrative leave pending the outcomes of the criminal and administrative investigations.

Links to APD critical incident materials

A recent Austin Police policy change requires the department to release video footage from “critical incidents” within 10 business days. You can view the APD materials released Monday regarding this incident using the links below.

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