AUSTIN, Texas - An Austin Police Department officer is in the hospital after being shot by a man suspected of shooting at a car in Northeast Austin. The suspect—shot by officers early Friday morning—was also injured.
Just after midnight, a driver along the westbound US 290 Service Road called police saying their car was being shot at by a man in another vehicle that was following them. Officers arrived, located the victim’s car, and found that the victim was not injured. The victim gave a description of the suspect’s vehicle to police, who tracked that vehicle down a short distance away on the service road.
An APD cruiser with two officers inside pulled the suspect over, pulling up behind his vehicle with their lights on, according to Austin Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon.
"As officers stopped the vehicle and began to exit the vehicle, they immediately took gunfire from the suspect. Officers returned fire at the suspect and the suspect was shot. One of our officers was also shot and suffered a non-life-threatening wound," said Chacon.
Chacon says the officer who was shot, who is a two-and-a-half-year veteran of the Austin Police Department, is at the hospital, currently undergoing surgery.
The suspect was also taken to the hospital. Chacon says the suspect’s injuries are life-threatening but his condition is stable. Police describe the suspect as in his late 20's or early 30's but have not made a positive identification. Chacon says the suspect could face capital attempted murder charges. That investigation will be led by the Travis County District Attorney.
Austin Police are trying to determine what led up to this, if there was any relationship between the suspect and the victim, and if anyone else was shot at or injured by the suspect.
The encounter involving police was all captured on both officers’ body cameras, as well as dashcam video from the cruiser, Chacon says.
"I’ll just tell you that, after having watched all that video, it’s chilling, and we are lucky right now that we do not have more people that are injured, particularly officers who in the face of danger displayed bravery. I’m grateful the officer is not injured worse than he is," said Chacon.
Both officers have been placed on leave pending a separate administrative investigation, as is protocol with officer-involved shootings.
Chacon says the events of early Friday morning are emblematic of the wave of violence being seen in Austin in recent months. He says he will be rolling out an initiative to curb gun crime, in the next week or so.