Cedar Park shooting, hostage-taking suspect previously arrested on family violence charge

Williamson County
Joseph Desean Taylor mug shot from September 2019 (Austin Police Department Photo)

Joseph Desean Taylor mug shot from September 2019 (Cedar Park Police Department Photo)

CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — The Cedar Park shooting that wounded three police officers Sunday and led to an almost 18-hour standoff with family members being held hostage into Monday in Cedar Park wasn’t the first time authorities dealt with the suspect.

Joseph Desean Taylor, 26, surrendered Monday morning after barricading himself in his home, along with his sister, brother and mother in an ordeal that started when officers arrived at the home for a disturbance. Taylor is accused of shooting Cedar Park officers Jaqueline Quiles, Cris Hester and Nik Anderson shortly after the trio responded to the call, and then Taylor allegedly took his family members hostage in an ordeal that later ended peacefully.

Law enforcement mentioned in press briefings Monday officers had responded to the home and incidents with the suspect before, and arrest documents show Taylor was arrested in 2019 after a third-degree felony family violence crime.

Taylor’s official charge was assault causing bodily injury with family violence and occlusion, and he was arrested Sept. 17 in connection with the incident, an arrest affidavit says.

The affidavit says Taylor strangled a teenage family member during a fight over money the morning of Sept. 6, 2019. When the sibling refused to give Taylor money, Taylor pushed him to the floor, jumped on top of him and started strangling him, the affidavit says.

The victim said he feared for his life after the incident, the affidavit said, and it took three other family members to pull Taylor off the victim and stop the attack.

Witnesses said Taylor had both hands around the victim’s neck, and then started punching him. After Taylor was pulled off the victim, Taylor’s mother said she was calling the police, to which Taylor replied, “You call the police. I will kill your son, b—-,” the affidavit said.

The affidavit details Taylor’s mental health struggles with manic depressive disorder and anxiety, and also his refusal to take medication for Type 1 diabetes because “it is a slow death regardless.”

Taylor’s mother told police she owns a handgun because of Taylor’s “unstable demeanor,” and that he had acted “verbally aggressive and abusive to all members of the household,” the affidavit says.

After the incident, the affidavit says Taylor called his grandmother and told her he was “going to take down” his mother and family, and that she should expect another call with “sad news,” and that she needed to “prepare herself.”

Taylor was released from Williamson County Jail a month after his arrest, according to county records.

An emergency protective order was granted Sept. 18, 2019, and Taylor had to stay at least 200 yards away from the victim’s home, which was where Taylor was also living at the time, the affidavit said. That emergency protective order expired in November 2019.

Williamson County District Court dismissed the case on March 12, 2020, saying that while there was probable cause of an arrest to be made, there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute Taylor.

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