UPDATE: On Tuesday, June 22, the Travis County District Attorney announced all charges have been dropped against a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old minor in connection with this shooting and we have removed the 17-year-old’s name from this story. Click here for details of why prosecutors dropped their charges.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — A second suspect has been arrested in connection with the mass shooting that killed one and injured 13 others in downtown Austin’s Sixth Street over the weekend.
A 17-year-old was arrested on a suspicion of aggravated assault, according to a release from the Austin Police Department.
The 17-year-old was arrested Monday without incident in Killeen while enrolled in a summer school class, police say. Killeen ISD police say the suspect was arrested at Harker Heights High School.
At age 17, the suspect is legally considered an adult under Texas law and his case will be handled in the adult criminal court system.
On Saturday afternoon, APD confirmed the arrest of another young person in connection with the deadly shooting. This person is under the age of 17.
What charges may the suspects face?
State law dictates that juvenile court records for anyone under the age of 17 are not public information
“The reason for this is to avoid criminalizing juvenile misconduct and to promote rehabilitation of the child,” a spokesperson for the Juvenile Probation Department.
The Travis County Juvenile Public Defender, Kameron Johnson, told KXAN he couldn’t not speak directly about this case, but he explained that generally juvenile cases happen at an accelerated pace. There is no bail system for juveniles under Texas Family Code, but the juvenile court is required to hold a hearing every 10 working days to decide whether a child in custody is to be released or will continue being detained.
There are also limited reasons a child can be held in police custody in the first place, including their likelihood to abscond, the lack of a suitable parent or guardian able to help them return to court, and the level of danger they pose to themselves or the public.
Ultimately, the District Attorney can decide to try children as young as 14 years old as adults, depending on the level of charges they face and the severity of the case details.
KXAN has reached out to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office to find out what charges the juvenile suspect could be facing in this case. The DA was not able to release that information. KXAN also inquired about whether the 17-year-old could face elevated charges in connection with this case. We will update this story when we receive more information.
Douglas John Kantor, 25, died from his injuries at an Austin hospital Sunday at 12:01 p.m. after the shooting, police say.
At an initial police briefing, APD Police Chief Joseph Chacon said 11 people were receiving treatment at one hospital, while one victim went to a separate hospital, another received treatment at an emergency room and another self-transported.
Chacon said his officers rushed six patients to the hospital in their patrol vehicles, while Austin-Travis County EMS paramedics ended up taking four. Three were transported in personal vehicles, police said.
Police explained officers took some victims in patrol cars because the size of the large crowd on Sixth Street and the chaotic scene made it difficult for EMS and the Austin Fire Department to get to the area. Chacon credited his officers, who were working in five shifts, for applying first aid and tourniquets to save some of the victims.
Witnesses at the scene of the gunfire
Witnesses around the 400 block of 6th Street early Saturday morning described the chaos as the gun shots rang out.
“Everything was totally fine,” witness Matt Perlstein said. “… there were just so many people in the street. And we just heard like, nine — a bunch — gunshots going off. Everyone got on the ground. We couldn’t even comprehend what was going on at the time. It’s still difficult to comprehend.”
David Frost was also on East 6th, out for a night of fun with his cousin. He said the chaos happened just as bars were closing up for the night.
“We’re all going outside,” said Frost. “Nobody knew anything was going on until the cops were like, ‘Hey get off the street… this is an active crime scene, go to your cars immediately and get out of the streets.’“