AUSTIN, Texas — Editor’s note: Days after the mass shooting, the Austin Police Department identified a suspect who had been charged in connection to the shooting. The Travis County district attorney and APD later dropped all charges against that person. KVUE has removed that person’s mugshot and name from all web stories.
One of the 15 people hurt in a shooting on Sixth Street in Downtown Austin has died, multiple officials have confirmed to KVUE.
Two people had suffered critical injuries from the shooting, and one of them succumbed to his injuries Sunday afternoon. The deceased victim was a man vacationing in Austin from New York, KVUE and Austin American-Statesman's Tony Plohetski confirmed.
In the early morning hours of Saturday, June 12, shots were fired into a large crowd in the entertainment district on Sixth Street, sending several to the hospital. Interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon said the 911 calls started at 1:24 a.m. The shooting happened in the 400 block of East Sixth St.
Originally, police reported that 13 people were hurt. At a 1 p.m. press conference, Chief Chacon said the victim count had increased to 14.
Chacon said that the shooting seems to be the result of an argument between two groups of people. Investigators are still talking to witnesses and viewing video sources.
The FBI is helping the Austin Police Department investigate.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) also confirmed to KVUE that it has been working with the APD in connection to this shooting. The TABC has initiated a TRACE (Target Responsibility for Alcohol-Connected Emergencies) investigation that is ongoing. TRACE investigations are initiated when someone is seriously hurt in connection with a possible alcohol-related incident, such as fatal DWI crashes, shootings and sexual assaults involving overserved customers.
Anyone with information or who may have witnessed the shooting or what happened before the shooting is asked to call 911 or the police tip line at 512-472-TIPS.
The interim chief said "almost all" of the shooting victims appear to be innocent bystanders. He said he could not elaborate on that detail.
Chacon said it's not clear what led up to the shooting. Although the shooting happened during ROT Rally, the interim chief said the incident was not related.
He said there were very large crowds on Sixth Street, and it was difficult for EMS trucks to make their way through. He said that officers had to put some of the shooting victims in patrol cars and take them to the hospital themselves so they could get the urgent care that they needed.
City and state leaders are reacting to the tragic news. The White House also had a statement.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler said, "The uptick in gun violence locally is part of a disturbing rise in gun violence across the country … One thing is clear – greater access to firearms does not equal greater public safety."
Austin City Council member Mackenzie Kelly took time Saturday morning to thank the swift response from law enforcement.
"Let there be no question: This despicable and cowardly act of gun violence only steals our commitment to making Austin lead the nation in being the safest city in America. No community should ever experience what occurred this morning in Austin," Kelly said in a statement.
Councilmember Ann Kitchen also said, "there’s no place for guns on our streets, as we reopen our city.”
June 12 marks the 5-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, which killed 49 people.
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