At least 14 injured after shooting in downtown Austin

A mass shooting in downtown Austin, Texas, early Saturday left at least 14 people injured, with two people in critical condition, according to police.

Interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon had initially listed the victim total as 13 but told reporters later in the day that officials were informed that another person “self-transported for medical care and is in stable condition.”

Chacon said during a press conference Saturday afternoon that “two male suspects” remain at large but that he believed both men will be taken into custody. 

He told reporters that he would not be releasing any further information on the suspects yet, explaining that “the investigation is very much ongoing.” 

Chacon said in his first press briefing earlier Saturday that police received initial reports of shots fired in the city’s entertainment district around 1:30 a.m. local time. 

The official said the area on a Friday night is generally “very busy,” and crowds have mostly returned to pre-pandemic levels, with large numbers of people walking through the streets and going to bars when the shooting occurred. 

Chacon said that officers rushed six people to the hospital in patrol vehicles upon arriving at the scene, with Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services paramedics transporting four victims. Three others were taken in personal vehicles to receive medical treatment. 

The police chief said that a total of 13 people went to local hospitals, and one other was treated at an urgent care clinic. 

Police said that no fatalities have been reported. 

Chacon initially described one suspect to reporters as possibly a “Black male wearing a black shirt with a skinny build and with dreadlocks.” 

While officials have not yet determined a motive for the shooting, the attack appears to have been an isolated incident, police said. 

The police chief said Saturday that most of the victims were “innocent bystanders.”  The FBI is assisting in the investigation, the police chief said.

A press release from the Austin Police Department said the area of the shooting will be closed “for an extended amount of time” to investigate the scene, with officials also collecting and reviewing security camera footage from the area. 

Police added that anyone with information related to the shooting may submit a tip anonymously by calling the department’s aggravated assault unit at 512-974-TIPS, through the Crime Stoppers tip line at 512-472-8477 (TIPS) or through the Crime Stoppers app.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler (D) in a Saturday tweet urged the public to share any relevant details they might have with police, adding that the shooting demonstrated the pervasive issue of gun violence throughout the nation. 

“The uptick in gun violence locally is part of a disturbing rise in gun violence across the country as we exit the pandemic,” he wrote. “One thing is clear – greater access to firearms does not equal greater public safety.”

Updated: 3:20 p.m.

Tags Austin Austin Police Department gunman Mass shootings press briefing Texas

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