AUSTIN (KXAN) — “It’s very surreal. The oddities about ‘The Odd House’ in the neighborhood,” said Brent Mayberry Wednesday evening.
The neighborhood, in the 10600 block of Pinkney Lane, was the setting for an escalating series of events throughout the day. It all began with a visit from City of Austin Code enforcement to cut a man’s lawn.
According to the Austin Police Department, the situation began around 9:16 a.m., when Austin Code Department officials reported to conduct lawn care under an administrative warrant. The visit took a dangerous turn when APD says the man began firing from inside the home, then refused to come out.
Around 4 p.m. Wednesday, Austin Fire Department reported a fire at the same address.
The man was eventually shot by a SWAT officer after he exited the burning home through the garage with “weapons in hand,” according to APD Chief Joseph Chacon. He was taken to the hospital where he died.
“I thought it was deserted for years,” Mayberry told KXAN Wednesday. “Until walking by… you hear music one day. And it’s like, ‘Wow. That’s kind of odd.’ It’s just a house that’s been a mystery to everybody in the neighborhood as long as I’ve been here.”
Meanwhile, parent Matt Owens has a four-year-old in daycare in the neighborhood and lives a few blocks away.
“You think you live in a safe, secure community… you never know what’s going on with people,” said Owens, who added local officials did a good job of making residents feel safe.
Tyler Strickel was working on indoor construction at a nearby business and says he first saw police cars “fly by” the area around 9:30 a.m. At one point, an officer spoke to him and his coworkers.
“He came up to the windows and said, ‘Stay in there, might have been a gunshot.’ It’s been a crazy morning,” Strickel said.
During the incident, he heard members of the SWAT team speaking to someone over an intercom and flash-bangs.
“We heard a couple of loud distraction bangs, and then the smoke happened within minutes from there. So at this point, we’re a little bit tucked over, but you could see the smoke, I mean, visibly shooting up from this area. You could see it from my house too,” said neighbor Camille Ross.
“This is a great neighborhood,” Strickel said. “I’m from here originally, and I just know there’s a bunch of elementary schools and preschools here, so it was just definitely shocking.”