13 Injured in Overnight Shooting on 6th Street in Austin
UPDATE 1:09 PM 6/12/21: Interim Chief Chacon held a news briefing Saturday afternoon at which he said two male suspects have been identified. He did not release details about them, but said police were actively working to "get them into custody", and he believed they would be successful in doing so soon.
Chacon said the FBI, TxDPS, and the ATF are assisting in the investigation.
He said the shooting appeared to be an isolated incident between two people, and that it seemed that most of the victims were innocent bystanders.
Chacon updated the victim count to 14, and praised first responders for their swift life-saving efforts at the scene. He said some officers transported 6 victims to hospitals so as not to delay care. EMS transported 4 victims, while 4 other victims transported themselves.
During the briefing, Chacon said five shifts of officers were working Downtown at the time of the shooting, but said staffing shortages at Austin PD were making it difficult to continue staffing shifts, especially during crowded events. He said TxDPS will be making officers available to assist Austin PD with additional Downtown security.
Chacon said Austin remains an overall safe city, but that people visiting the Downtown area need to be thinking about safety and traveling in groups. He once again asked members of the public who witnessed the event or may have helpful information to call Austin PD or Crime Stoppers (contact info below). He asked that anyone with video please make it available to police.
A suspect remained on the loose after gunfire erupted in Downtown Austin early Saturday morning, leaving 13 people injured - two in critical condition.
In a media briefing, Austin PD Interim Chief Joseph Chacon reported that the shooting took place in the 400 Block of the East 6th Street entertainment district.
Austin 911 received a call about shots fired in the are at 1:24 AM. Three victims were initially reported, but emergency responders found several more victims as they worked the scene and more 911 calls were received.
At 1:26 AM, police received a description of a suspect: a Black male with a skinny build and dreadlocks wearing a black shirt. No suspect had been taken into custody as of late Saturday morning, and police say it's not clear if more shooters may have been involved. Chacon said the shooting appeared to be an isolated incident.
Of the 13 victims, police say 11 are in stable condition and two are hospitalized in critical condition. EMS reportedly had difficulty getting to victims quickly due to the size of the crowd, which was reported to be at or over pre-COVID-19 levels.
Chacon said officers were reviewing several business surveillance and bodycam videos to piece together what happened, and that members of APD's organized crime and gang units are working to determine if the shooting was gang-related.
Police said they do not currently know what motivated the shooting, but that they've notified the FBI's joint terrorism task force out of an abundance of caution.
"Any time that we have a potential of an active shooting or a scene that might be some type of...there might be a domestic terrorism nexus, we call them in," Chacon clarified. "At this point, I don't know that that is the case. It cannot be ruled out, and therefore we call them in early on so that they come early on in the investigation."
Chacon asked that anyone who may have footage of the shooting or who may have information that would be helpful to investigators reach out to Austin PD at (512) 974-8477. You can also contact Austin Crime Stoppers at (512) 472-8477, austincrimestoppers.org, or via the Crime Stoppers App.
You do not have to give Crime Stoppers your name, and a tip leading to an arrest could be eligible for a cash reward.
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