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Suspect in Custody After Shootings in Austin and San Antonio


Suspect in Custody After Shootings in Austin and San Antonio

The police in Austin, Tex., charged a suspect with capital murder on Wednesday after four people were killed in a string of shootings around the city the previous day. The suspect may also be linked to two deaths in the San Antonio area, the police said, adding that further charges were pending.

Robin Henderson, the Austin Police Department’s interim chief, announced the details of the shootings at a news conference early Wednesday morning. She said the police had not determined that the Austin shootings were connected until Tuesday night.

“The nature of the relationship, if any, between the victims and the suspect is unknown,” Chief Henderson said.

The suspect, a man in his 30s who was not further identified, may also be linked to a separate homicide investigation farther south, in the San Antonio area, she added.

The first shooting in Austin occurred on Tuesday morning, when the suspect shot and wounded an Austin school district officer, Chief Henderson said.

The Austin police said on Tuesday that Northeast Early College High School had been placed under lockdown after shots were heard in its vicinity. The school district’s police chief, Wayne Sneed, told reporters that the injured officer was in stable condition after being shot in the leg.

The second shooting, a double homicide of a man and a woman, occurred later on Tuesday morning in an area south of the first one, Chief Henderson said.

In the third incident, a male cyclist said that he had been shot on Tuesday afternoon, Chief Henderson said. His injuries were not life threatening.

And on Tuesday evening, she said, officers responding to a call about a burglary found the suspect in the backyard of the home. The suspect fired at an officer, who shot back but suffered multiple gunshot wounds, which were not life threatening. The suspect later fled in a vehicle and crashed as police pursued him.

As the chase unfolded, Chief Henderson said, other officers entered the home and found the bodies of two people. The department believes the suspect was also linked to those deaths, she said.

The Austin police did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment on Wednesday morning.

The Austin Independent School District Police Department declined to comment, though it said in a message to the school community that more than 1,200 students and staff members had been kept safe during the shooting incident on Tuesday morning.

Separately, the authorities in Bexar County, which includes the city of San Antonio, said on Tuesday that the Austin suspect may have been involved in the deaths of two people in the San Antonio area on Tuesday morning. San Antonio is about 80 miles southwest of Austin.

The Bexar County sheriff, Javier Salazar, said that the police in the San Antonio area had found two bodies in a home there after learning from the Austin police that the suspect had connections to the home.

“He’s got links to this house, but I’m not quite sure what his relationship, if any, to the people here in this house is,” Sheriff Salazar told reporters at the scene on Tuesday evening.

Johnny Diaz contributed reporting.

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