AUSTIN (KXAN) — In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, APD Police Chief Brian Manley asked the community for help identifying the suspect who shot multiple times through a family’s front door Sunday night, leaving a 10-month-old baby with life-threatening injuries.
The shooting happened at 11:11 p.m. Sunday at the 1800 block of Wooten Park Drive near the intersection of West Anderson Lane and Woodrow Avenue.
According to police, a gunman or gunmen walked up to the apartment’s door, knocked and then opened fire. Bullets fired through the family’s living room and hit the baby, who was sleeping on a sofa, and then his father when he tried to rescue the infant.
Investigators initially believed the attack was a drive-by shooting, but they now say the shooter or shooters were on foot and that this appears to be an “isolated incident.” In the Tuesday afternoon press conference Manley revealed that two people — a man and a woman — were said to have been around the family’s door both before and immediately after the shooting and they are now persons of interest.
The first person of interest is described as a Hispanic or white female between 17-25 years-old and standing at about 5’2″ and weighing around 120 pounds. Her hair is described as blonde, possibly dyed. She is said to have been seen wearing a turquiose or blue hoodie with pink flowers on the front.
Police currently have no further descriptions of the male suspect.
“It is important that we reach out to the community and ask for assistance,” said Manley.
Both victims were transported to the hospital by Austin-Travis County emergency medical personnel. Police said Monday that the baby boy is in critical but stable condition after being transported Sunday night to Dell Children’s Medical Center, where he was immediately taken into surgery. By Monday afternoon, according to police, the baby had undergone two surgeries.
The infant’s father has been released. The woman who was in the apartment with them was not hurt.
Manley said APD’s Major Crimes Taskforce has already interviewed multiple people and are following up on every lead as it comes in.
“While we are still tracking some of these leads, again, our plea today is for the community to come forward: if you know something, if you saw something, if you’ve heard something,” said Manley. “If you were in that neighborhood or around that apartment when this attack took place — please reach out. Please call us. You may think the piece of information you have is not relevant or will not assist us, but you won’t know that until we bring it in to all the other information that we have.”
KXAN spoke with neighors, who say the shooting sounded like fireworks, with round after round being shot.
“That’s just sad,” said Tim Rector, who lives across the street and is friends with the family involved. “Why would somebody do that to a baby?”
Rector says his friend is a good guy, and he says his friend’s son is less than a year old. “You wouldn’t think nobody would come and do that to him like that.”
APD wants this case to serve as a reminder to be cautious and always call police, when in doubt.
“Just any time you see anything suspicious, call us. It’s better for us to come out on something that’s innocent than have to wait and respond after the fact like we did in this case.” said Corporal Chad Martinka of the Austin Police Department.
Police emphasize that this is a case they are taking incredibly seriously and, given the victim, are working hard to find those responsible.
APD urges anyone with information about the shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS (8477) or provide anonymous tips on their website.