Teen shot, killed woman at East Austin apartment after rampage of aggravated robberies, police say


4:25 p.m. update: A 19-year-old man confessed to shooting and killing a 30-year-old woman as he attempted to rob her Tuesday at an East Austin apartment complex after committing two aggravated robberies the day prior that left three people injured, Austin police said. 

Xavier Lewis, 19, is accused of killing Ebony Michelle Sheppard, police said. Lewis was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with capital murder as well as five counts of aggravated robbery.

Lewis had been arrested and charged with a shooting robbery from 2016 and was wearing an GPS-tracking ankle monitor at the time of the Monday and Tuesday incidents. The ankle monitor puts him at the scene of two aggravated robberies reported on Christmas Day as well as Sheppard’s shooting, Austin police Lt. Jason Staniszewski said.

Sheppard was found mortally wounded in the 6600 block of Ed Bluestein Boulevard around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, police have said.

Police knew that there had been a nearby aggravated robbery the day before — on Christmas Day — in which four people were robbed and two of them were shot at Dottie Jordan Park off Loyola Lane, Staniszewski said. Also on Christmas Day, there was a car-jacking in the 6600 block of Highpoint Drive, down the street from where Sheppard was found the next day, in which a man took an elderly woman’s car, police said. The car-jacker also ran over a person in the process who was not the elderly woman, Staniszewski said. That person is in serious condition.

If convicted of capital murder, Lewis faces either a life-sentence in prison or the death penalty.

Investigators don’t believe Lewis knew Sheppard, Staniszewski said. 

“At this time, it appears ... he just saw her walking and figured he would rob her and get some money,” Staniszewski said. “That’s when she started screaming, and he shot her.”

Earlier: Austin police have arrested a man suspected of killing a woman in an East Austin apartment complex on Tuesday.

Xavier Lewis, 19, was taken into custody on Thursday in Pflugerville, according to police.

Police had been searching for Lewis in connection with the death of Ebony Michelle Sheppard, 30, who was found mortally wounded in the 6600 block of Ed Bluestein Boulevard around 11:44 p.m. on Dec. 26.

Authorities said Sheppard had obvious signs of trauma on her body, later determined by the Travis County medical examiner’s office to be a gunshot wound, and was rushed to Dell Seton Medical Center, where she died about an hour later.

Police said investigators linked Lewis to the killing, along with a string of aggravated robberies on Christmas Day.

Lewis is being held on five counts of aggravated robbery and one count of capital murder in Travis County Jail, police said.


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