AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department is investigating a shooting that killed a man in an east Austin park Tuesday night.
The shooting was reported at Givens Park at about 10:44 p.m. When police and medical personnel from Austin-Travis County EMS arrived, they discovered the body of Andre Lanier Davis Jr. with “obvious trauma.”
Davis, 47, was pronounced dead at the scene within 12 minutes of the first report. An autopsy will be conducted Wednesday.
Yvonda Jeffries, a close friend to Davis, described him as a genuine, caring person who will be greatly missed.
“He would give you the shirt off his back. If you didn’t have anything to eat, he would give it to you or send somebody to go get you something to eat,” Jeffries said. “If you’re sick and you need to go to the hospital and you don’t have a ride and don’t want to wait for the EMS, he’ll have somebody take you there, or he’ll take you there. That’s just the type of guy he was.”
People gathered at the park Wednesday and created a memorial to Davis, whom many of them called “Big Dre.” They left balloons, a stuffed animal and candles in the spot where someone shot him and fled.
“Everybody’s on edge, and I pray nothing else happens,” Jeffries told KXAN. “I pray that we all come together and take this as a learning situation.”
After investigating all night, police announced mid-morning Wednesday that they believe robbery was the motive behind Davis’ death.
“One of the suspects was described as being tall, stocky and last seen wearing a black jacket,” police wrote in the news release. “Suspects were possibly seen leaving in a black Nissan car.”
Police believe there were several suspects involved in the alleged robbery and subsequent shooting and several eye-witnesses left after shots were fired.
Anyone with information about Davis’ death or the suspects is urged to call the APD homicide tip line at (512) 477-3588.
A second shooting involving several suspects took place outside the La Quinta Inn in central Austin a few hours later. Officers have not ruled out a connection between the two shootings as they continue to investigate.