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6 dead, 3 wounded in attacks in Texas; suspect is in custody

People talk to police officers near emergency vehicles.
Residents speak to Austin, Texas, police after a daylong series of attacks in the city left four people dead.
(Sara Diggins / Austin American-Statesman)
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A daylong series of attacks in Austin, Texas, left four people dead and at least three wounded, and a man believed to be connected to those attacks and the deaths of two additional people near San Antonio was taken into custody, Texas authorities said.

Those who died were found in two homes in Austin and a residence east of San Antonio. The injured, who were shot, included two police officers and a bicyclist, police said. None of the injuries was considered life-threatening.

The suspect, who is in his 30s, was charged with capital murder, Robin Henderson, Austin’s interim police chief, said at a news conference Tuesday night. His name has not been released.

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“We strongly believe one suspect is responsible for all of the incidents,” Henderson said of the Austin attacks. She said that police “did not determine that these incidents were connected until the last incident occurred” Tuesday night.

Henderson and others provided a timeline, saying an Austin school district police officer was shot in the leg about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday in a parking lot at Northeast Early College High School. Then, about noon, police who responded to a home after getting calls about gunshots found two people with signs of trauma. Police say one was dead and the other died at a hospital.

Another shooting happened shortly before 5 p.m., when a male cyclist suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Police responding around 7 p.m. to a call of a burglary in progress at another home found two people dead there.

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Henderson didn’t say how the four people died.

During the last call, an Austin police officer saw a man in the home’s backyard. The man shot at the officer and the officer returned fire, Henderson said. The officer suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was taken to a hospital. The officer was in stable condition.

Police said the gunman, who was not hit, drove away and police pursued him. He crashed about 7:15 p.m. at a highway intersection and was taken into custody.

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She said that the officer who was shot and the other officers were wearing body cameras and that the video would be released within 10 business days.

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The relationship between the suspect and the victims, if any, wasn’t immediately known, Henderson said.

In Bexar County, about 80 miles south, Sheriff Javier Salazar said his agency got a call from Austin police at about 7:45 p.m. about some shootings. They said the man they had in custody had links to a residence east of San Antonio.

As two deputies approached that home, “I believe they saw water coming out of the residence, appearing as if something was leaking inside,” Salazar said. Two people were found dead in the house, but Salazar didn’t say how they died.

Salazar said it’s believed the deaths in the home happened before the attacks in Austin.

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