911 call reporting drug-related activity results in officer-involved shooting; APD chief says suspect died

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man was pronounced dead on Friday night after police responded to a 911 call about a man with a weapon in southeast Austin.

According to Austin Police Department, officers reported to the 2600 block of South Pleasant Valley Road around 6:32 p.m. after a caller said they saw people in a car doing drugs — one of whom reportedly had a gun in his hands.

The caller said the man also put the gun in the air at one point.

Given the vehicle description, Austin police believed the car may have been involved in a crime the day before. A group of officers responded and approached the car together when they arrived. The department said officers asked the man to step out of the car, and initially he got out, but did not comply with the officers’ commands. Officers say a woman was inside the car with the suspect.

APD Police Chief Brian Manley said in a briefing Friday night that after the suspect allegedly refused to comply with officers’ commands, a “non-lethal” shot was fired at the suspect.

“He is yelling back at the officers various things and the officers are telling him not to get back in the car and to keep his hands in the air and telling him to step away from the vehicle. At one point, they decided to deploy the less lethal, because again they were not getting the compliance that they were asking for,” said Manley.

Manley says that after this, the suspect got back into the vehicle and drove out of the parking space — at which time the lethal gunshot was fired.

“When the officer fired the less lethal shotgun the suspect got back in the car, closed the door and begins to pull out of the parking space, turning right as he’s pulling out and at that point, the officer fired his lethal firearm, fired his rifle and the vehicle then drives down a short distance and appears to have crashed into a parked vehicle at that time.”

Manley says that it’s believed the incident is possibly linked to several crimes, including burglaries and an evading arrest incident. The suspect was pronounced dead at the hospital at 7:46 p.m.

APD says the officer who fired the less lethal shot is a member of the latest cadet class and has been on the street for three months. The officer who fired the fatal shot from a rifle has been with the department for five years, APD says.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and they are working to get a warrant to search the vehicle to find the weapon the suspect reportedly had.

The woman with the suspect in the car was unharmed, police say. She is currently detained and being questioned as part of the investigation.

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