AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police are looking for a man they say shot at an officer early Thursday morning in southwest Austin. APD says the officer was not hit.
The officer was responding to an unrelated call on Travis Green Lane and Hero Drive when the shots were fired just after midnight. That’s near Southwest Parkway between William Cannon Drive and MoPac Expressway.
Once on scene, APD said the officer saw a car drive by a nearby home from their patrol car. The car had duct tape over the license plate. When the officer tried to conduct a traffic stop, the suspect sped off, APD said.
The officer was in their car when the man fired his gun multiple times. The bullets damaged the patrol car and other parked cars in the neighborhood.
During a short chase, the suspect drove on the wrong side of the road, APD said, and that’s when they stopped pursuing the car. The suspect’s car was found crashed and abandoned a little later at a close apartment complex parking lot.
APD said a search for the suspect followed the discovery. They were not found.
Addressing the incident on Twitter later on Thursday, APD Chief Brian Manley described the incident as an attempted murder of the officer.
“Grateful this morning that we are not addressing the serious injury or death of one of our community protectors,” the chief wrote.
“An APD officer was shot at last night while in his patrol car and the suspect then fled the scene. While [the investigation] is still underway, clear this was an att murder of our ofc,” he added.
Police told KXAN they believe they know who the suspect is but declined to release more information as to not jeopardize the investigation. Police issued a reverse 911 call for people living within a square mile of the scene.
Neighbors in the area reported hearing several rounds go off, but were unable to see any action. They later walked outside to find their car windows had been hit by the gunfire.
“I asked [my son] if it was firecrackers and he said ‘no, it’s definitely gunfire,'” said Paul Schultz, whose son was home visiting from college. His son’s car was one of the vehicles damaged.
“We are just happy that no one was hit, everyone is okay and the damage is pretty minor,” he said.
Ken Casaday, Austin Police Association president, recalled other recent tragedies where officers are gunned down. He said he was thankful everyone was safe.
“Right before Christmas, we are thankful that he went home safe, and that the family and the APD didn’t have to worry about burying a police officer,” Casaday said.
Detectives ask anyone with information about the shooting to call the APD Aggravated Assault Unit at (512) 974-5245.