Police arrested one suspect and are looking for another after a mass shooting in a crowded downtown Austin street injured 14 people early Saturday, two of them seriously.
The Austin Police Department said in a press release that the US Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force assisted with the arrest, but provided no details other than to say it continued to follow the tracks of the suspect still at large.
Acting Police Chief Joseph Chacon said the shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. on a street full of bars and barricaded away from traffic. He said investigators believed it started as a dispute between two parties. Chacon said the two suspects were male, but declined to release details such as whether the two fired, saying the investigation was ongoing.
“Most of the victims were innocent bystanders, but we are still sorting through all the victims to see what their involvement is in this case,” Chacon said.
The mass shooting – one of at least three in the United States overnight – sparked panic along 6th Street, a popular nightlife destination in the city home to the University of Texas.
A witness, Matt Perlstein, told KXAN-TV that he was waiting with a friend to enter a bar when gunshots broke out.
“Everything was going very well,” Perlstein said, then gunshots erupted. “We just heard like… a bunch of gunshots. Everyone got down. We couldn’t even understand what was going on at the time.
Chacon said his officers reacted quickly in the area.
“They were able to immediately begin life-saving measures for many of these patients, including the application of tourniquets; thoracic seal applications, ”he said.
Due to the chaos on the barricaded street, police drove six of the injured to hospitals in their patrol cars. Ambulances transported four people and the other four made their own way to hospitals, he said.
Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement thanking police and other first responders and offering prayers to the victims.
Abbott said the State Department of Public Safety was helping with the investigation and Chacon said the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were also helping.
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