Austin’s Sixth Street mass shooting: Suspect at large with 13 hospitalized
Gunfire erupted just before 1.30 am early Saturday, June 12, along Sixth Street, a popular area that has several bars and restaurants in Austin, Texas
AUSTIN, TEXAS: At least 13 people were injured in a shooting that took place in a busy entertainment district in downtown Austin early Saturday, June 12. The suspected shooter was still at large and not in custody at the time of writing.
CNN reported how gunfire erupted just before 1.30 am along Sixth Street, a popular area that has several bars and restaurants. Austin Interim Chief of Police Joseph Chacon said at a news briefing Saturday, the street was barricaded to keep out vehicle traffic at the time of the shooting. “Our officers responded very quickly,” the police chief said. “They were able to immediately begin life-saving measures for many of these patients, including applications of tourniquets; applications of chest seals.”
Chacon said two of those injured are in critical condition. Six people were rushed to hospital by the Austin Police Department, while four others were brought in by the Austin-Travis County EMS. Three other victims were able to bring themselves to the hospital.
One hospital received 11 victims for medical attention while another person was taken to a different hospital. One of the victims was admitted to an urgent care facility with multiple gunshot wounds, bringing the total count to 13 at the time of writing.
Some officers reportedly took patients to hospitals in their police cruisers owing to the crowded nature of the scene, where it was hard to get ambulances to those who were injured, Chacon said.
NEW: This is video of the aftermath of the downtown Austin shooting showing officers performing first aid on the wounded.— Tony Plohetski (@tplohetski) June 12, 2021
At this time, police have a very general description of the suspect. The incident appears to be isolated to the area but police couldn't guarantee there was no additional public danger considering the suspect is still at large. Chacon said the suspect is possibly a Black man with a "skinny” build and locs-style hair. Meanwhile, a motive for the shooting is also yet to be established, KXAN reported.
Authorities are currently scouring through surveillance footage from several sources in the vicinity, including the Public Safety Camera System and police body cameras, to determine exactly what happened.
Police said the investigation was joined by detectives from Aggravated Assault, Homicide, Organized Crime and Gang units. They have not ruled out a gangland incident, but the motive and circumstances that led to the shooting are still unclear at the time of writing.
"We were in line to a get into a bar on Sixth Street,” witness Matt Pearlstein told KXAN. “Everything was totally fine.” There was a large police presence in the neighborhood all night as there were so many people out in the area, Pearlstein said, before the gunshots rang out.
“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," he recalled. “It was pretty surreal,” witness David Frost added. “You couldn’t even fathom something like that would happen outside.”
According to Chacon, the FBI is also on scene to assist with the mass shooting investigation. As of now, first responders are urging people to avoid Sixth Street due to an ongoing investigation.
If you or anyone you know has information related to the shooting, you are urged to call law enforcement on 911 or 512-472-TIPS.