Austin Police officers close La Crosse Avenue near Mopac Expressway in Austin, Texas late Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. (Sara Diggins /Austin American-Statesman via AP)
AUSTIN, Texas — A daylong series of attacks in Austin has left four people dead and at least three wounded, and a man believed to be connected to them and the deaths of two people near San Antonio was taken into custody, Texas authorities said.
Those who died were found in two homes in Austin and a residence east of San Antonio. The injured, who were shot, included two police officers and a bicyclist, police said.
The man, who is in his 30s, was charged with capital murder, Robin Henderson, Austin interim police chief, said at a news conference Tuesday night. His name has not been released.
“We strongly believe one suspect is responsible for all of the incidents,” Henderson said of the Austin attacks. She said that police “did not determine that these incidents were connected until the last incident occurred” Tuesday night.
Henderson and others provided a timeline, saying an Austin independent school district police officer was shot in the leg about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday in a parking lot at Northeast Early College High School. Then about noon, police who responded to a home after getting calls about gunshots found two people with signs of trauma. Police say one was dead and the other died at a hospital.
Another shooting happened shortly before 5 p.m., when a male cyclist suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Police responding around 7 p.m. to a call of a burglary in progress at another home later found two people dead there.
Henderson didn’t say how the four people died.
During the last call, an Austin police officer saw a man in the back yard. The man shot at the officer and the officer returned fire, Henderson said. The officer suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was taken to a hospital. The officer was listed in stable condition.
Police said the man, who was not hit, drove away and police pursued him. He crashed at about 7:15 p.m. at a highway intersection and was taken into custody. The man had a gun, Henderson said.
The relationship between the man and the victims, if any, wasn’t immediately known, Henderson said.
In Bexar County, about 80 miles (129 kilometers) south, Sheriff Javier Salazar said his agency got a call from Austin police at about 7:45 p.m. about some shootings. They said the man they had in custody had links to a residence east of San Antonio.
As two deputies approached that home, “I believe they saw water coming out of the residence, appearing as if something was leaking inside,” Salazar said. Two people were found dead in the house, but Salazar didn’t say how they died.
Salazar said it’s believed the deaths in the home happened before the attacks in Austin.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Iditarod, the annual sled dog race celebrating Alaska's official state sport, is set to get underway Saturday with a new focus on safety after five dogs died and eight were injured in collisions with snowmobiles while training on shared, multi-use trails.
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