ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — “I want people to know that my brother is a good-hearted person,” said Shante Marshall. “He’s a family man… he deserves a chance.”
That’s why she and the Marshall family reached out to speak with KXAN Thursday.
Shante said her brother, Brandon, was the one who ended up in critical condition after an officer-involved shooting Wednesday night.
The Texas Department of Public Safety, leading the investigation, confirmed Brandon Louis Marshall as the suspect it was tracking Wednesday night when the incident ended in a shootout.
Shante was joined by two other siblings and their mother — all of them had questions about law enforcement’s protocol in tracking down Brandon, whom the family said has a history of mental health issues.
“Why were they tailing my brother for so long, for so many hours without pursuing him? Why did they trigger my brother’s mental illness?” Shante said.
All Austin police cadets receive 40 hours of mental health training, the Austin Police Department said previously.
KXAN also asked DPS and the Williamson County District Attorney whether Brandon had documented mental health issues and if responding law enforcement knew about them. While we wait for those responses, KXAN allowed the Marshall family a chance to speak.
“My brother has reached out to many, many psychiatric institutions,” Shante said. “He’s had hospital stays; he has a long record. I feel like that should be in the system.”
“This was a big fear, before this even happened,” said another sister Sierra. “We tried to get Brandon some help so that nothing like this could ever happen, because the police are so aggressive.”
In a briefing Wednesday night after the incident, Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon said APD officers were assisting DPS with surveillance during the warrant service around 2:42 p.m. He said the suspect, a 41-year-old man, had multiple active felony warrants that included weapons charges.
Chacon said the suspect started shooting first.
“The suspect began firing from the inside of his vehicle at the trooper,” Chacon said Wednesday night.
After the initial shots, four APD officers and the DPS trooper returned fire, Chacon added.
“When my daughter called me; I just panicked. I almost fell to the floor,” said Brandon’s mother, Berna, who lost a nephew to gun violence recently. “By the grace of God, he’s still here.”
The family said they didn’t know Brandon had a gun, but they did know he had warrants. They’re asking for a fair investigation and justice.
“We want everything done in a lawful way and in the correct way,” said Brandon’s brother, James.
The Marshall family said he has been discharged from the hospital, but they weren’t allowed to see him.
Austin Police said it helped DPS in Wednesday’s incident and won’t release video according to its protocol — which is within 10 working days.
Chacon said that’s because the incident happened in Williamson County’s jurisdiction.
That District Attorney told KXAN his office brings all officer-involved shootings in his jurisdiction to a grand jury, and as a general rule in his office, they don’t release anything on a pending case.