AUSTIN, Texas – A gunman has been arrested in Texas after a shooting spree left a trail of six murder victims and three wounded people, including two police officers, across two counties on Tuesday, authorities said.
The male suspect has been taken into custody and charged with capital murder in addition to more charges, which are pending, Austin Interim Police Chief Robin Henderson told reporters at a news conference early Wednesday morning. Investigators have a lot of work before them as they piece together the sequence of events and try to determine a motive. It was not clear whether the suspect knew the victims, NBC 5 DFW reported.
The shooting spree began in Austin on Tuesday around 10:43 a.m. in the 7200 block of Bachman Drive, Northeast Early College High School, where a police officer with the Austin Independent School District was shot in the leg, the New York Post reported.
More than an hour later, police received 911 calls regarding two victims — a male and a female — killed in a double homicide at 7300 Shady Wood Drive, the interim chief said, according to Fox News Digital.
A witness said the gunman shot a handyman sitting in his truck outside a home before a woman inside the home confronted the suspect.
The gunman chased her down the street and fatally shot her, according to Fox 7. He then stole the handyman’s truck and fled the area.
Austin Police Department’s Interim Chief Robin Henderson speaks at a press conference Wednesday morning following the suspect’s arrest. (Screenshot KXAN)
Henderson said that a third shooting occurred just before 5 p.m. at 5701 West Slaughter Lane where a male cyclist suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound.
At 6:45 p.m. a fourth shooting transpired in the 5300 block of Austral Loop at the location of a “burglary in progress.” In the back yard of this residence, a responding officer was shot multiple times by a suspect who opened fire.
The wounded officer sought cover and returned fire. The gunman was not hit and managed to flee the scene in a vehicle.
Twenty minutes later, the suspect crashed following a pursuit with other officers at the intersection of State Highway 45 and FM 1826 and was taken into custody. He was still in possession of a firearm when he was captured, NBC 5 DFW reported.
The wounded officer was transported to the hospital and was reported to be in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries, Henderson confirmed.
When police searched the home of the reported burglary, officers found two more victims dead.
“The male suspect who was taken into custody was transported to the Travis County Jail and is charged with capital murder,” Henderson said. “He was also booked in for an outstanding assault with injury family violence warrant. Further charges are pending.”
The wave of violence throughout the city of Austin spanned over eight hours and left four dead and three wounded. In addition to the Austin victims, law enforcement authorities said there are two more murder victims about 80 miles south in Bexar County, which are being connected to the killer, NBC 5 reported.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said Austin police reached out and inquired about a residence in Bexar County that may have been tied to the suspect, KXAN reported. Salazar said when deputies arrived at the home, they found two bodies inside.
“It’s a pretty grisly crime scene in there,” Salazar noted.
The sheriff said the suspect is about 30 years old, but his relationship to the victims wasn’t clear. He said investigators believe the murders in the home occurred before the shootings in Austin.