AUSTIN (KXAN) — Officers shot and killed a man accused of firing at them while they worked a separate shooting investigation on Sunday, according to Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon. On Wednesday, police released more details about what led up to the officer-involved shooting, but they were still waiting on the suspect to be identified.
It all began when officers responded to a shooting at the Motel 6 in the 7100 block of North Interstate Highway 35 at 2:55 p.m. The area is near East St. Johns Avenue.
Chacon told media in a briefing Sunday night when officers arrived, they found someone who had been shot and began to administer life-saving measures. The Austin Police Department said the person was driven to the hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries but were not taken by Austin-Travis County EMS medics. In an update on Wednesday, police said this shooting victim was treated and later released from the hospital. It’s unknown if the shooting occurred in a car, in one of the motel’s rooms or in the parking lot.
Events leading up to officer-involved shooting
While two officers were canvassing the area trying to find possible surveillance video of that first shooting, APD got word from the officers, who were on foot in a parking lot, at 4:45 p.m. there were shots fired in the area of the 7-Eleven just north of the motel.
The officers walked to the area while telling other officers over the radio about the shots.
In that same area of the St. John’s Bridge over the interstate, Chacon said officers saw a man allegedly fire a weapon in a tent. In a Wednesday update, APD clarified this, saying further investigation revealed the man fired in the area of a tent.
APD said on Wednesday the officers identified themselves as APD and gave commands to the man to get on the ground. The man didn’t listen, and instead turned in the direction of the officers while also pointing a gun in their direction. Chacon said that’s when the man began firing at officers. Chacon said both officers then returned fire and shot the suspect, who fell to the ground.
Within seconds, he said officers made contact with him and started life-saving measures after securing his gun. Austin-Travis County EMS medics and Austin firefighters also responded at around 4:52 p.m. and continued those measures, but the man was pronounced dead at 5:06 p.m.
On Wednesday, APD said it’s still waiting on the man to be identified by the medical examiner’s office. The officers on scene weren’t hurt, and no civilians sustained injuries either, according to police.
Chacon said body cameras on each officer captured the incident. That video will be released within 10 working days, in line with APD policy.
The two officers involved were placed on administrative leave, as per department protocol. One officer, a field-training officer, had been with the department for four years. The other officer, who was in training, graduated from the most recent APD cadet class in January.
Police did recover a handgun from the scene next to where the man fell to the ground. The shooting at the motel and the officer-involved shooting are not related, APD said on Wednesday.
Two investigations will be done at the same time: a criminal investigation by the APD Special Investigations Unit in partnership with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office and an administrative investigation by the APD Internal Affairs Unit with oversight from the Office of Police Oversight.