AUSTIN (KXAN) – A 29-year-old man was shot and killed by an Austin police officer Friday night after running at the officer with knives in his hands.
A call to 9-1-1 was made at 10:14 p.m., reporting a man threatening people with knives in the Randall’s parking lot at S. MoPac Expressway and William Cannon Drive. The caller yelled, “Just send help!”
At 10: 15 p.m., the first officer arrived. He told other units on his radio to “step it up,” as he saw the suspect, described as a white male.
The officer backed up his patrol car to create space between him and the suspect, and then exited with his long rifle.
The man was now facing the police officer, as he was given commands to drop the knives.
At 10:20 p.m. the suspect was shot once as he ran full speed at the officer. Austin-Travis County EMS was dispatched a minute later, and at 10:22 p.m. the radio call went out for an officer-involved shooting. The officer attempted life-saving procedures on the man.
Five minutes later, EMS arrived at the scene, and left for the hospital while performing CPR on the critically injured man.
At 10:49 p.m., the suspect, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead.
Preliminarily, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a 12:20 a.m. press conference in the Randall’s parking lot, the incident appears to be “suicide by cop.”
“The video in the police car captured a great deal of the incident, that will provide some great context to what occurred and some great evidence for the grand jury and for us to see,” Acevedo said.
The chief personally viewed the dashcam and Randall’s security cameras, and spoke to two people who witnessed the shooting.
Around one hour before the shooting, police were alerted to a man with a knife at the Dollar General in the 700 block of W. Stassney Lane. The suspect was clearly waiting for someone, the chief said, adding there was a “high probability” the two incidents were related.
“Our officer is shaken up,” Acevedo said. “Despite what the public and critics might say that officers – somehow this doesn’t impact them. I can tell you he’s very shaken up, and saddened by this chain of events.”
The police chief said this was the fifth officer-involved shooting of the year, reminding those gathered that two officers have been shot in the last month. Both are recovering, he said.
The officer who shot the suspect has been with the Austin Police Department for four-and-a-half years.