Second night of shootings in downtown Austin, including one officer-involved

APD Chief Manley says downtown shootings "unacceptable"

March 17, 2019 - 7:33 am

AUSTIN (KJCE) -- Police are investigating two separate shootings in downtown Austin early Sunday - one of which led to four Austin Police officers opening fire.

The first shooting of the night happened just before midnight near East Sixth Street and San Jacinto. A man in his 20s was hospitalized with a gunshot wound; EMS did not provide details on his condition. Police say they have detained individuals connected to the case, but a search for others involved continued at last update.

Then, in a completely separate incident, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley says two vehicles were involved in a minor crash at 7th & Neches just after 2:45 a.m. Both vehicles - what police have identified as a dark-colored Maserati Levante SUV, and a dark colored Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS - then proceeded eastbound on 7th Street towards Interstate 35.

Manley says video surveillance shows two individuals getting out of the SUV and walking to the Monte Carlo behind them; one can be seen leaning in a window and throwing multiple punches at someone inside the vehicle, presumably the driver. Someone in the Monte Carlo then opened fire, with muzzle blasts visible on camera.

The two individuals run back to their vehicle; one appeared to have been shot and was doubled over, but managed to pull a pistol from his waistband. At this point, multiple Austin Police officers are running towards the scene; the individual fired at some of the officers while getting into his vehicle, and four APD officers returned fire. Both vehicles then fled the scene.

During a pursuit, a driver at 11th and I-35 flagged down officers after his vehicle was struck by gunfire. Manley says it appears the vehicle tried to pull out of the roadway, but was struck as the two vehicles in the shooting drove by. The driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Manley says police are searching for persons of interest in the case; from the Maserati, police are looking for black males, one wearing light-colored jeans and a white hoodie, and another wearing dark jeans and a white hoodie or sweatshirt, and a third wearing dark pants and a dark top. The vehicle should have damage on its rear driver's side quarter panel from the initial crash. From the Monte Carlo SS, Manley says the vehicle should have collision damage on its front driver's side quarter panel. It also has light-colored racing stripes. There was no information on any individuals inside the Monte Carlo.

Manley said that as a result of the Saturday morning shooting at the Wendy's in the same area near I-35, APD had staged 50 officers in and around that intersection. As the gunfire rang out, video shows those officers running towards that gunfire.

Four officers opened fire during the incident - two of which have been on the force for 7 years, one for 12 years, and one for 3 years. All four will be placed on administrative duty pending an investigation, which is standard procedure for any officer-involved shooting.

Manley touched on the five shootings that have happened in the last 48 hours across Austin. "We are not going to let our entertainment district be turned into a place where shootings become a common occurrence, and this weekend will not stand without a strong response from the police department." Manley said there is nothing that connects this incident with any of the other shootings.

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