AUSTIN (KXAN) — Monday marks one year since a shooting in an apartment complex near the Arboretum area of northwest Austin left three people dead. The scene, originally labeled an active shooting, later was revealed by the Austin Police Department to be an isolated domestic violence crime.

Police arrested then 41-year-old Stephen Nicholas Broderick on April 19, 2021 and the Travis County District Attorney’s Office charged him with capital murder in the shooting deaths of his adopted daughter, Alyssa Broderick; ex-wife, Amanda Broderick; and Alyssa’s boyfriend, Willie Simmons III. The shooting happened just before noon on April 18, 2021 at the Arboretum Oaks Apartments.

His arrest was made approximately 20 hours after the shooting, following an extensive manhunt that located him 18 miles from the shooting scene.

Currently, Broderick remains indicted in the Travis County 299th Criminal District Court, with an attorney Zoom conference hearing scheduled for May 12.

Stephen Nicholas Broderick, 41 (Austin Police Department Photo)
Stephen Nicholas Broderick (Austin Police Department Photo)

Previous charges

Texas Rangers and Travis County court records revealed that, prior to the shooting, Broderick had been charged with sexual assault of a child in June 2020. At the time of this charge, he had been employed as a detective with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, and had previously worked at the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office. He resigned from TCSO’s force after bonding out of jail.

Records from Stephen and Amanda’s divorce filings show that she had requested sole custody of their two children — Alyssa, as well as the couple’s then nine-year-old son — and noted his “history or pattern of committing sexual abuse” on a person under age 18. Her request also stipulated that all of Stephen’s parental visits be supervised and that he not consume alcohol within 12 hours of a visit.

Amanda had been issued a protective order in June 2020.

At the time of the shooting, Stephen and Amanda had been meeting for a scheduled visit with their son, APD said. Officers told KXAN on the day of the shooting, he rammed into Amanda’s vehicle before opening fire.

‘My soul is hurting right now’

In the days following the shooting, an outpouring of community condolences and makeshift memorials emerged in memory of Simmons, Alyssa and Amanda. At Elgin High School, both Simmons and Alyssa had attended just a year prior to the shooting, with waves of support pouring out from teachers, coaches, administrators and classmates.

“My soul is hurting right now,” Elgin High offensive coordinator Omasha Brantley tweeted the evening of April 18, 2021, in a tribute to Simmons, who played football at the school.

  • Willie Simmons III
  • Willie Simmons III
  • Members of the Elgin community come together to remember Willie Simmons III, Alyssa and Amanda Broderick, the victims in a triple homicide in northwest Austin. (KXAN Photo/Frank Martinez)
  • Members of the Elgin community come together to remember Willie Simmons III, Alyssa and Amanda Broderick, the victims in a triple homicide in northwest Austin. (KXAN Photo/Frank Martinez)
  • Members of the Elgin community come together to remember Willie Simmons III, Alyssa and Amanda Broderick, the victims in a triple homicide in northwest Austin. (KXAN Photo/Frank Martinez)
  • Members of the Elgin community come together to remember Willie Simmons III, Alyssa and Amanda Broderick, the victims in a triple homicide in northwest Austin. (KXAN Photo/Frank Martinez)

Alyssa attended Elgin ISD from 2009 to 2020, but was regarded for her academic achievements and athleticism while attending.

“Amanda, Willie and Alyssa, may they rest in peace, and please let’s get justice for them this time,” former AAU basketball coach Stephanie Whitley-Yell said. “I want justice for her. Because they all deserve justice. We cannot fail them. We cannot fail them again.”

  • Amanda Broderick
  • Alyssa Broderick
  • Amanda Broderick
  • Alyssa Broderick was a guard on the Elgin basketball team and made All-District Honorable Mention her freshman year. (Courtesy Madison Koehler)

Friends and colleagues remembered Amanda as a loving mother who deeply cared for her children. A GoFundMe page established for her memorial raised more than $20,000, with donors remembering her for her kindness and spirit.

“Amanda had so much to live for — I mean 35? She still had so much to live for,” Whitley-Yell said.