Austin mass shooting: 1 juvenile suspect in custody, another suspect still at large in 6th Street attack

Crime & Safety

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police confirmed Saturday afternoon one suspect is in custody and another is still at large in connection with a mass shooting in downtown Austin that killed one and left at least 13 other people hurt early Saturday morning.

Earlier Saturday, Austin police identified two suspects in connection with the shooting on East Sixth Street.

On Sunday, police said the suspect in custody is a juvenile but told KXAN it is unknown if the second suspect is a juvenile.

APD says Douglas John Kantor, 25, died from his injuries at an Austin hospital Sunday at 12:01 p.m. after the shooting.

During a briefing, Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon said the shooting happened at 400 E. Sixth Street, which is near Trinity Street. There are many bars in the area. The initial 911 call about shots fired came in at about 1:24 a.m. and was followed by many more.

Chacon said 11 people are receiving treatment at one hospital, while one victim went to a separate hospital, another received treatment at an emergency room and another self-transported. There are no deaths to report at this time.

Two of these patients are in critical condition, according to Chacon. He said most victims are innocent bystanders.

Earlier in the day, Chacon could only share a vague description of one suspect. He said the man may be a Black man with a “skinny” build and locs-style hair. A motive for the shooting is not yet known.

Chacon said the shooting appears to be isolated just to that area in downtown.

“This does appear to be an isolated incident between two parties,” he said.

Large police presence at apartment complex on South Pleasant Valley Road June 12, 2021 (Courtesy: KXAN Viewer)
Large police presence at apartment complex on South Pleasant Valley Road June 12, 2021 (Courtesy: KXAN Viewer)

Police thanked the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force for partnering with them to make the arrest. The arrested suspect’s identity hasn’t been released at this point.

Earlier on Saturday, a KXAN viewer sent in a video and pictures of a large police presence at an apartment complex on South Pleasant Valley Road near Riverside. He heard officers shouting commands and later saw multiple people being walked out in handcuffs.

The witness told us along with APD and SWAT, he also saw U.S. Marshals and FBI at the scene. Austin Police have not confirmed if this scene is connected to the shooting arrest.

APD response

Chacon said his officers rushed six patients to the hospital in their patrol vehicles, while Austin-Travis County EMS paramedics ended up taking four. Three were transported in personal vehicles, police said.

Police explained officers took some victims in patrol cars because the size of the large crowd on Sixth Street and the chaotic scene made it difficult for EMS and the Austin Fire Department to get to the area. Chacon credited his officers, who were working in five shifts, for applying first aid and tourniquets to save some of the victims.

Witnesses describe the scene

“We were in line to get into a bar on Sixth Street,” said witness Matt Perlstein of the moments before the shooting. “Everything was totally fine.”

Perlstein said there was a large police presence all night, because there were so many people out in the area — then he said, they heard the gunshots.

“We just heard like nine — a bunch — of gunshots going off. Everyone got on the ground. We couldn’t even comprehend what was going on at the time.”

“It was pretty surreal,” witness David Frost said. “You couldn’t even fathom something like that would happen outside.”

The incident is not believed to be connected to the ROT Rally, which was also happening downtown, Chacon said Saturday.

Where the investigation goes from here

Chacon said the FBI and Texas DPS are assisting with the investigation.

In a statement Saturday morning, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in part: “APD and the City Council have initiated multiple violence prevention efforts in response – but this crisis requires a broader, coordinated response from all levels of government. One thing is clear – greater access to firearms does not equal greater public safety.”

In a final statement early Saturday afternoon, Chacon explained APD would not stop searching for those responsible.

“We’re gonna solve this case,” Chacon said. “We’re not going to spare any resources, any time. We’ve called in all of our resources to begin working on it, they are dedicated to getting this done and we are actively working to those responsible in custody.”

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call 911 or (512) 472-TIPS.

  • At least 14 people are hurt after a mass shooting in downtown Austin on 6th Street near Trinity Street June 12, 2021 (KXAN Photo)
  • At least 14 people are hurt after a mass shooting in downtown Austin on 6th Street near Trinity Street June 12, 2021 (KXAN Photo)
  • At least 14 people are hurt after a mass shooting in downtown Austin on 6th Street near Trinity Street June 12, 2021 (KXAN Photo)
  • At least 14 people are hurt after a mass shooting in downtown Austin on 6th Street near Trinity Street June 12, 2021 (KXAN Photo)
  • At least 14 people are hurt after a mass shooting in downtown Austin on 6th Street near Trinity Street June 12, 2021 (KXAN Photo)
  • At least 14 people are hurt after a mass shooting in downtown Austin on 6th Street near Trinity Street June 12, 2021 (KXAN Photo)
  • At least 14 people are hurt after a mass shooting in downtown Austin on 6th Street near Trinity Street June 12, 2021 (KXAN Photo)
  • East 6th Street the afternoon after a mass shooting took place early Saturday morning (KXAN Photo/Clare O'Connor)

IN DEPTH: Charges for the suspects

It is unknown what each suspect will be charged with because those charges depend on factors such as the nature of the victim’s injuries.

The latest update police have released is that all 14 patients were taken to the hospital, and two of them were in critical condition.

The District Attorney’s office usually collaborates with detectives on what charges will be, which is what police told KXAN is happening Sunday. It will also be determined whether the suspect who has already been arrested will be charged as an adult. Police could not say how old the second suspect was.

Austin police have also not released a name or age of the suspect they’ve taken into custody, though in past cases information is sometimes limited when there is a juvenile involved.

KXAN has reached out to the District Attorney’s Office to find out what charges the suspect could be facing. We will update this story when we receive more information.

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