In the early hours of Sunday morning, a crowded entertainment district in Austin, Texas turned chaotic when a gunman opened fire. Police initially called the incident an “active shooter incident” as shots were fired in two locations, but later confirmed there were two different incidents.The Guardian reports, At 2.17 am, police received a call saying a woman had been shot in Sixth Street and seven minutes later a call saying an individual had been assaulted with shots fired in Trinity Street, a few blocks away.
Austin police chief, Brian Manley, said the Sixth Street incident was believed to have begun after a disturbance between two individuals led one of them to shoot into the crowd.
A woman, believed to be in her 20s, died on the scene. Four other people were shot, three women, believed to be in their 30s, who were taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge, and a man who refused to be taken to hospital.
Commander Mike Benavides of Austin-Travis County emergency services said the women taken to hospital had serious but non-life-threatening injuries.The shooter, believed to be a light-skinned black man or Hispanic man, escaped, said Manley.
Manley said the second incident involved a dispute in a parking garage with one man pulling out and firing a weapon before being “taken down” by other people who observed the disturbance. The gunman was taken to hospital for injuries incurred while he was disarmed but no one else was injured. Benavides said the gunman was believed to be in his 20s and had not suffered life-threatening injuries.
A video posted on Twitter purporting to be from the scene of the shooting showed people running and screaming after shots were heard. Sam Vedamanikam, who posted the footage, tweeted: “I think it was a fight. Police ran immediately into it. Props to the police. We ran to 7th Street to get away from 6th.”
Clearly a much greater tragedy was averted, for which we are thankful. There are several notable points about this incident however.
1. Police were actually given credit for the fine work they do.
2. A description of the suspect was provided – all too often we’re told nothing which does nothing to either protect the public or allow the public to provide tips to the police in apprehension.
3. Other brave citizens succeeded in “taking down” the gunman to prevent further injury.
But this morning we must offer our condolences to the family of the victim, who lost her life simply because she wanted a Saturday night out.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]