At least 14 people were injured in a shooting in Austin’s entertainment district’s 6th Street.
At least 14 people were injured early Saturday in a shooting in downtown Austin, police said. The shooting occurred as crowds gathered in the city’s popular entertainment district.
According to authorities, there were no fatalities, but two people were hospitalized in critical condition. Twelve individuals remained in stable condition. One male suspect was arrested Saturday evening, while another remained at large, according to the Austin Police Department. Before Saturday afternoon’s arrest, interim police chief Joseph Chacon stated that the motive is unknown.
The first report of gunfire came at approximately 1:24 a.m. in the 400 block of East Sixth Street, a neighborhood densely packed with bars and live music venues. According to police, the shooter or shooters began firing randomly into the crowd, and “a large crowd began dispersing.”
Authorities told the Austin American-Statesman that tens of thousands of people may have been in the area at the time, implying that the estimated crowd size was comparable to “pre-pandemic” levels.
“It was extremely difficult to contain the scene, and it was extremely difficult for EMS to enter this crowd,” Chacon explained to reporters. “And, due to the severity of the injuries, officers were forced to use their police vehicles to load and transport some of these shooting victims.”
Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services medics responded to what authorities described as a “active attack.” Police and medics transported ten people to hospitals. Three additional individuals presented themselves to hospitals, police said.
Chacon stated that police are reviewing officers’ body camera footage as well as surveillance footage from businesses to ascertain what occurred early Saturday. The department expressed gratitude to the United States Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force “for assisting in the arrest of this suspect,” who was taken into custody Saturday.
Social media users captured the chaotic scene, including a video from KXAN showing police officers carrying one of the injured victims toward medics.
The shooting is the latest in a trend of increased gun violence during the coronavirus pandemic, according to data. According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, gun violence killed nearly 20,000 Americans in 2020, more than any other year in at least two decades. Certain officials have expressed concern that an increase in violent crime this summer will raise safety concerns as Americans reintegrate into society.
During the pandemic, shootings never ceased: 2020 was the deadliest year on record for gun violence.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler (D) expressed gratitude to local authorities for their efforts and noted that the shooting reflected a national trend toward increased violence.
“The local increase in gun violence is part of a troubling nationwide increase in gun violence as we exit the pandemic,” he tweeted.
The shooting in Austin was one of several across the country on Friday and Saturday. Late Friday in Savannah, Ga., one person was killed and eight others injured, including a two-year-old and a thirteen-year-old. The investigation is ongoing, and no arrests have been made.
A 29-year-old woman was killed and ten others were injured in an early Saturday shooting on Chicago’s South Side. According to police, the injured victims, who range in age from 23 to 46, are in fair to good condition. There have been no arrests.
According to Lt. Col. Mike John of the Cincinnati Police Department, at least four people were shot in the evening in the Ohio city — two of them children. The 6- and 8-year-old children were in critical condition, while two adults sustained non-life threatening injuries, the station reported. There were few details available about the shooting.
Police in Rochester said a 14-year-old boy and a male who “appears to be in his early teens” were shot Saturday afternoon while walking on a sidewalk. The 14-year-old was expected to survive, but not the other. No one was arrested in connection with the shooting Saturday evening.
According to the Ledger-Enquirer, Columbus, Ga., police arrested a man suspected of three shootings in their city and neighboring Phenix City, Ala., over a 24-hour period. The newspaper reported that the individuals shot were expected to survive.