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Police arrest one of two suspects in Austin mass shooting that wounded 14

Police Chief Joseph Chacon speaks in front of microphones with several officers behind him
Interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon says investigators believe the shooting started as a dispute between two parties.
(Associated Press)

Police have arrested one suspect and are searching for another after a mass shooting on a crowded downtown Austin, Texas, street early Saturday that left 14 people wounded, two of them critically.

The Austin Police Department said in a news release that the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force assisted in making the arrest, but it provided no other details other than to say it is continuing to follow up on leads for the suspect still at large.

Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon said that the shooting on a street packed with bars and barricaded from vehicle traffic occurred around 1:30 a.m. and that investigators believe it started as a dispute between two parties. He said police are searching for two male suspects, but he declined to disclose details such as whether both fired shots, saying the investigation was ongoing and the department was working to take them into custody.

“Most of the victims were innocent bystanders, but we’re still sorting out all of the victims to see what their involvement is in this case,” Chacon said.

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The mass shooting — one of at least three in the U.S. overnight — sparked panic along 6th Street, a popular night-life destination in the city, which is home to the University of Texas.

One witness, Matt Perlstein, told KXAN-TV that he was waiting with a friend to enter a bar when the shooting began.

“Everything was totally fine,” Perlstein said, then gunfire erupted. “We just heard like ... a bunch of gunshots going off. Everyone got on the ground. We couldn’t even comprehend what was going on at the time.”

President Biden says on the fifth anniversary of a shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., that he will sign a bill naming it a national memorial.

Chacon said his officers responded quickly to the scene.

“They were able to immediately begin lifesaving measures for many of these patients, including applications of tourniquets, applications of chest seals,” he said.

Because of the chaos on the barricaded street, police drove six of the wounded to hospitals in their squad cars. Ambulances transported four people, and the other four made their own way to hospitals, he said.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement thanking police and other first responders and offering prayers to the victims. He said the state Department of Public Safety is assisting in the investigation.


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