You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Man shot himself in the head while in custody Sunday, police say


Highlights

The man had been arrested in Barton Creek Square mall and was accused of shoplifting, police said.

While heading to the police station, the man pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot himself, police said.

He was in critical condition Sunday night.

It was unclear whether the man was frisked before being taken into custody, police said.

A man in police custody shot himself in the head while in the back of a patrol car Sunday, according to officials with the Austin Police Department, and he was in critical condition Sunday night.

The shooting occurred outside a crowded bar at Fifth and Lavaca streets downtown just after lunch, as officers were taking the man to police headquarters. He had been arrested about an hour before at Barton Creek Square mall and was accused of shoplifting and possession of a controlled substance, officials said.

While in the patrol car, police said, the man pulled out a gun concealed in his waistband and shot himself.

At a media briefing, interim Police Chief Brian Manley would not say whether the man had been frisked before being placed in the car, though it is standard protocol.

“That is part of the ongoing investigation,” Manley said.

Police had not been able to determine the man’s identity upon his arrest but believed he was wanted for multiple felonies, Manley said. They placed him in the patrol car at the mall to take him to headquarters downtown to fingerprint him, Manley said.

During the trip, the man told the officer driving that he had “suicidal ideations,” according to a conversation recorded in the patrol car’s interior camera, Manley said. When the officer asked whether the man had the means to injure himself, the man pulled out the gun and, though handcuffed, managed to point it at his head, Manley said.

The officer reported the incident over the radio and exited the vehicle in the 500 block of Lavaca Street, Manley said. He began giving commands to the man to put the gun down as other officers arrived and cleared people from the street, Manley said.

Six minutes passed, and during that time the man put the gun to his head several times before shooting himself once, authorities said. Officers took the man out of the vehicle and performed life-saving measures until medics arrived, Manley said. The man was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge, where he was treated for life-threatening injuries, police said.

The man still had not been identified Sunday evening, but police said he was probably in his late teens or early 20s.

No other shots were fired and no one else was injured, but Manley said officers and the public had been in danger.

“If this individual had chosen to remove that weapon and fire at the officer instead without saying something, we could be here discussing a very different incident,” he said.

The area around Sixth and Lavaca streets was shut down for several hours Sunday as police processed the crime scene.

Video from a witness who drove in front of the scene showed several patrol cars parked on Lavaca in front of the Belmont music club. An officer was walking with a rifle while others appeared to be performing CPR on the man lying in the road.

According to Manley, the entire incident was also captured on the squad car’s dash camera video.

Manley did not identify the officers involved but said the one driving the patrol car had been with the force 11 years and another officer who was following him in a second patrol car was a seven-year veteran.

The shooting will be investigated by internal affairs, police said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Watch: Pigs escape a truck crash closing major highway near Dallas

Travelers using Interstate 45 southeast of Dallas encountered a massive closure of several highway lanes Thursday morning following a semi truck crash and vehicle fire. The truck was carrying large pigs, and live video from the scene shows several of the animals escaped the wreckage and wandered along the highway.   According to NBC DFW, the truck...
City of Austin in federal court Thursday over ‘sanctuary cities’ ban
City of Austin in federal court Thursday over ‘sanctuary cities’ ban

City of Austin attorneys will be back in a downtown federal court on Thursday for a hearing related to the lawsuits filed over the “sanctuary cities” ban set to be enacted under Senate Bill 4. Thursday’s hearing is related to a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Ken Paxton just hours after Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 4 into law. The...
Truck pulling wind mill fan blade stalls out in Williamson County
Truck pulling wind mill fan blade stalls out in Williamson County

A 18-wheeler carrying a massive wind mill fan blade stalled out on a Williamson County road overnight, complicating the morning commute — and providing quite the sight for morning commuters.  The truck — stuck in the right northbound lane of FM 1325, between County Road 172 and Shoreline Drive — was first reported stalled by...
HOT TOWN: Forecast says summer’s back in the city
HOT TOWN: Forecast says summer’s back in the city

Thursday forecast for Austin: It couldn’t last. After nearly a week of relatively cooler temperatures and storms, summer is roaring back into town today. Temperatures will push higher into the mid-90s, but the blanket of humid air over the city makes it feel more like the low 100s — with nary a rain chance in sight. Tomorrow is expected...
Parents, special needs children left floundering after Medicaid cuts
Parents, special needs children left floundering after Medicaid cuts

Stacey English has modest desires for her 7-year-old daughter Addison: Be able to eat without gagging and move both her arms. But since Addison’s occupational therapist went out of business this winter, the child with a rare genetic disorder has regressed in her fight to do even that much. “I don’t know where to go from here,&rdquo...
More Stories