Gunman Dead in Downtown Austin, man who allegedly fired 100 rounds into three downtown buildings was fatally shot when he opened fire outside police headquarters, an Austin PD spokesperson told reporters.
Officials are investigating if the wound was self-inflicted, or if the unidentified suspect was killed by officers. A police sergeant was reportedly putting away police horses for the night, when he “shot the suspect with one hand while holding two horses by the reins in the other, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters,” USA Today details.
The shooting spree began around 2 a.m. after the suspect, described as a male in his 50s with a criminal record, tried to set fire to the Mexican consulate. Based on his targets, Acevedo says the incident appears to be a poltically motivated anti-government attack linked to immigration.
Witness Jesse Van Wallene, 29, was stopped at a red light, about 15 feet away from the suspect, when the shooting took place.
“He was in full gear so he didn’t seem like a civilian, but there was no writing on any of the equipment,” he told NBC News. “It seemed like he was wearing a bullet-proof vest and he was wearing a helmet with a clear visor over his face.”
Police feared the suspect might have explosives in his vest or van — which was parked in front of police headquarters — after discovering “suspicious” cylinders inside the vehicle. Both were cleared after being searched by a bomb squad.
A SWAT team is now conducting an investigation of the suspect’s home.
No one other than the gunman was injured in the incident — an outcome that Acevedo says is fortunate, given the normal activities in downtown Austin on a Friday night.