Suspect arrested after Del Valle SWAT call leads to shelter-in-place, SH 71 closures

Travis County

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police identified the suspect taken into custody after the SWAT team responded Monday to reports of a man with a weapon on State Highway 71 in Del Valle. They said he was not cooperating with police earlier in the day.

Police said Junius Harrell, 51, will face a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm following Monday’s arrest.

Officer Juan Ascencio told reporters in a news conference Monday afternoon that police began receiving calls after 9 a.m. about a man shooting into the air and pointing a gun at traffic. Officers then responded to the 3100 block of the SH 71 service road, which is near Royster Avenue. When they arrived, police said Harrell ran into a wooded area near the service road. Officers then called in SWAT.

Ascencio said the SWAT members arrived and took Harrell into custody shortly thereafter.

The response from law enforcement led to major traffic backups in the area after authorities shut down the frontage roads alongside the SH 71 tollway. However, all lanes are now open again.

Austin Bergstrom International Airport earlier warned people about traffic delays getting to the terminal because of the police presence, but now all traffic issues are resolved.

Police also said a reverse 911 call went out earlier to tell people who live near the scene to shelter in place.

Several police vehicles can be seen in the photo Austin Transportation tweeted out Monday morning, and viewers called KXAN and described police vehicles traveling down SH 71 at high speeds.

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