Austin/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 22, 2024
Armed Suspect Dead After Standoff with Austin SWAT Team at Southeast Gas StationSource: Unsplash / Michael Fortsch

A man is dead after a tense standoff with police at a Southeast Austin gas station on Tuesday, authorities confirmed. The incident began when officers identified a stolen vehicle near the intersection of Salt Springs Drive and Thaxton Road at around 12:30 p.m., as reported by CBS Austin. The suspect, armed with a gun, barricaded himself inside a business, prompting a SWAT response.

Interim Austin Police Chief Robin Henderson outlined that the suspect refused to follow officers' commands to drop the weapon, leading them to retreat and call in SWAT. During the standoff, an employee was locked in an office space while another employee, a cook at the gas station's taco shop, managed to escape. "I was just inside cooking and heard a gunshot … So I walked around the counter real slowly to see what was going on, and the guy behind there pops out, tells me, 'Yo, get out the store,'" Saxx Williams, the owner of Sax's Tacos, told KVUE.

Negotiators attempted to engage with the suspect but failed to achieve a peaceful resolution. According to police, the suspect shot at officers and began creating a makeshift Molotov cocktail, presenting a lethal threat to the trapped employee. In response, APD opted for force, with one officer firing their weapon at the suspect. The injured man was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, as detailed by Interim Chief Henderson during a CBS Austin briefing. The officer involved in the shooting, a 16-year veteran of the department, is now on administrative duty pending investigations.

The exact sequence of events is still under scrutiny. Henderson recounted that the officers initially used pepper balls in an attempt, to deter the suspect's actions. The standoff, which lasted several hours, fortunately resulted in no other injuries. With the situation now contained, an appeal has been made to the community for any additional information, with tips being directed to the Austin Police Department or to the Capital Area Crime Stoppers, CBS Austin reports. Police have stated that as their investigation progresses, more details will be shared with the public.