AUSTIN (KXAN) — What neighbors thought could turn into a possible active shooting threat, turned out to be a false alarm.
Over the last two weeks, an Austin Police arrest affidavit states a man tried to break into homes in an east Austin neighborhood, and threatened people with what turned out to be an air rifle, according to court records.
Austin Mullins, 29, was charged with disorderly conduct. Police said this isn’t the first time he’s done something like this.
KXAN reached out to Mullins’ attorney but hasn’t heard back as of Monday afternoon. Mullins’ court date is pending.
Records state Mullins was roaming the streets with his weapon days before his arrest.
Now neighbors said they were worried about what could happen next.
“We were driving to school, and I saw him walking down the street carrying what looks like a very large rifle,” a woman who called 911 said. She asked not to be identified for safety.
“He was wearing tactical gear… my little boy was so scared that this man was going to follow him to school and shoot up his school,” the 911 caller said.
The woman said around 8 a.m. on May 1, she saw Mullins carrying what turned out to be an air rifle.
“I just saw a man who looked very erratic carrying something that looked to my eyes just like an AK-47,” the woman who called 911 said. “It didn’t have an orange tip or anything.”
According to court records, neighbors spotted him toting his gun near these schools:
- Thomas G. Harris elementary
- Bertha Sadler Means Young Women’s Leadership Academy
- Andrews Elementary School
Neighbors said Mullins was pointing his weapon at homes, according to a court affidavit.
“Just seemed like maybe he was having a bad day,” Nina Leonard, a neighbor, said. “And yeah… was not being conservative about how he was holding his gun.”
Days before Mullins’ arrest, neighbors reported seeing Mullins trying to break into homes while carrying his rifle. According to court records, police said the manufacturer’s warning label for the air rifle stated “Misuse or careless use may cause serious injury or death. May be dangerous up to 250 yards/229 meters.”
Court documents stated police arrested Mullins for something similar in December 2022. Records said Mullins was walking with a gun near Austin Achieve Elementary School while kids were outside during a physical education class.
Neighbors are questioning whether Mullins should be released from jail anytime soon.
“Being released is certainly something that’s going to happen in the future,” Logan Campbell, a criminal defense attorney with Gergen, Hale & Campbell (GHC) Law Firm, said. “On a Class B misdemeanor, you can only hold them in jail for so long.”
Campbell said a judge could decide Mullins isn’t allowed to have firearms anymore, or even put other restrictions in place limiting where Mullins can go when out on bond.
“I think he would absolutely be a threat to the community if he was released without some major treatment,” the 911 caller said.
Police quickly responded and arrested Mullins in less than 10 minutes, according to court records. Records also said no schools went on lockdown since he was found so quickly.