3 overnight shootings in Austin 1 day after 6th Street mass shooting

National

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the Austin community, along with the nation, is still digesting news of the mass shooting on Sixth Street Saturday, several other shootings in the city have already followed the incident that killed one and sent at least 13 other people to the hospital.

Three separate shootings sounded across the Austin area in the early morning hours of Sunday, Austin police say. Here’s what we know.

Shooting #1

This east Austin shooting incident happened around 2:09 a.m. near Todd Lane, nearly the same location as a different shooting that happened just days earlier.

While there are few details on what led up to the incident, police report there was a large gathering before. Two female victims are said to be in critical, but stable condition in the hospital.

Shooting #2

This incident happened around 2:39 a.m. Sunday, on Jollyville Road in north Austin.

According to police, one male suspect was taken to the hospital with a non-life threatening gunshot wound.

Shooting #3

This north Austin shooting incident was reported at 3:07 a.m. on Howard Lane. Police say a man was taken to a Round Rock hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

KXAN will update stories on these cases as details are released.

Austin policing background

In the wake of the Saturday mass shooting, which captured national attention, many have zeroed in on how policing in the city of Austin could have factored in. On Saturday morning, Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon commended the department for its speedy response but underlined how difficult it’s become to fully staff the downtown area during peak hours.

Chacon, former APD Chief Brian Maley and others cited canceled cadet classes and budgetary transitions made by Austin City Council as reasons for a more constrained patrol force.

Last August, City Council voted unanimously to adopt a 2020-21 budget moving about $150 million from APD’s funding into other areas of public safety and health. New cadet classes were effectively shut down while an audit of new officer curriculum was conducted.

These changes were prompted after unfavorable attitudes toward APD spiked over summer 2020, as the department’s response to a series of social justice protests was condemned by some protesters and city leaders. In particular, people pointed to the deployment of “less-lethal” bean-bag rounds at protesters. The Office of Police Oversight received 82 complaints from protesters who say officers went too far.

But, Chacon assured Austinites and visitors that nights out in Texas’ Capitol city should continue, but that vigilance is key.

“Overall, we remain a safe city. And I think that people should keep that in mind. But also keep in mind when you come downtown, you need to be safety conscious. Travel in groups, if possible. Be vigilant of your environment and your surroundings. And importantly, if you plan to drink, have a plan to get home,” Chacon said.

Nationally, violent crime, particularly homicides, are on the rise as the pandemic winds down. A May study by the Council on Criminal Justice found a 30% increase in homicides out of 34 U.S. cities in 2020, in addition to an 8% increase in guns assault cases.

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