Downtown Austin shooting leaves at least 13 injured
Austin Police Department says 13 people were injured in a shooting in Austin; the suspected shooter has not been arrested.
Law enforcement officials in Austin arrested one suspect in the mass shooting that took place in the Texas city’s entertainment district early Saturday morning and injured at least 14 people.
A second suspect is still at large, the Austin Police Department confirmed Saturday afternoon.
Two of the victims are in critical condition, while the other 12 are stable, interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon said, adding that almost all of them were innocent bystanders.
Gunfire erupted around 1:30 a.m. on 6th Street, a popular strip of bars and restaurants where thousands of people gather every weekend.
“There was a large crowd of people that were there at that time,” Chacon said. “It is always busy at that time. We are back to our normal size crowds that we were seeing before COVID hit.”
Chacon initially described a suspect as a Black male with a black shirt, skinny build and “dreadlock-type” hair – but told reporters early Saturday that the description isn’t very detailed “based on the chaotic nature of the incident.” The department did not release a description of the suspect who is now in custody, but added that the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force had assisted with the arrest.
Police officers were on the block and able to respond to the shooting within seconds, immediately starting life-saving measures such as applying tourniquets and other first aid.
“We had 14 people that were shot, and none of them to this point have lost their life,” Chacon said. “I truly believe that it was our officers’ quick actions that are largely responsible for that.”
Police transported six of the victims to a local hospital, while EMS transported four and the other four went to the hospital themselves.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler said Saturday that the “uptick in gun violence locally is part of a disturbing rise in gun violence across the country as we exit the pandemic.”
“APD and the City Council have initiated multiple violence prevention efforts in response- but this crisis requires a broader, coordinated response from all levels of government,” Adler tweeted. “One thing is clear – greater access to firearms does not equal greater public safety.”
Chacon also lamented staffing shortages at the Austin Police Department, saying that the Texas Department of Public Safety has agreed to send officers to help with security Saturday night.
“It is making it hard to staff at these levels even if we offer overtime to our officers,” Chacon said.
Anyone with information about the shooting should call 911 or APD’s tip line at (512) 472-TIPS.
Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report.
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