Man who shot self in Austin police car dies, family spokesman says


1:55 p.m. update: A man who police say shot himself while in Austin police custody in downtown Austin on Sunday afternoon has died, a family spokesman confirmed Monday.

The man, identified by family a friend as Zachary Anam, 19, had been taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge with critical injuries after the shooting.

Multiple police sources confirmed earlier on Monday that an Austin police officer did not conduct a thorough pat-down of Anam after taking him into custody for shoplifting and possession of a controlled substance because he had already been cuffed by mall security at Barton Creek Square when the officer arrived to take him to police headquarters.

According to court records, Anam was among four men accused of engaging in organized criminal activity last year following a rash a vehicle burglaries in Southwest Austin from late March to early May.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in May of 2016, Anam and three other suspects engaged in a “prolific and devastating property crime wave” that involved a vehicle theft, multiple vehicle burglaries and burglaries of residences.

The affidavit said the crime spree began late on March 28 or early on March 29 with the burglary of a Mercedes in the 10500 block of Walpole Lane.

Anam was also charged with possession of a controlled substance, and an earlier charge of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon after allegedly robbing a man during a handgun purchase in September of last year, court records show.

The family has declined to comment further at this time.

EYE ON CRIME: Click to receive our Crime and Safety Report by email every Monday

Earlier: An Austin police officer did not conduct a thorough pat-down of a man who shot himself Sunday in the back of a police car because the man already had been handcuffed by mall security, a preliminary investigation of the incident has found.

Three sources with inside knowledge of the Austin police investigation have confirmed the details.

Interim Police Chief Brian Manley declined to discuss specifics in the case, but said the officer still would have had a duty to pat down the man even if he received him from other officers.

The man was in critical condition at University Medical Center Brackenridge Sunday night, according to Austin police. It was unclear what his condition was Monday.

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.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Man linked to suspect in plot to kill Travis County judge to testify
Man linked to suspect in plot to kill Travis County judge to testify

An associate of Chimene Onyeri, who federal authorities say plotted to kill Travis County District Judge Julie Kocurek in 2015, is expected to testify Wednesday about the traffic stop that led to Onyeri’s arrest. Reginald Matthews failed to show up to a hearing last week, prompting U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel to instruct defense lawyers to...
FORECAST: Cold front sinks temps into 40s ahead of storms
FORECAST: Cold front sinks temps into 40s ahead of storms

Wednesday forecast for Austin: An overnight cold front has caused a severe drop in morning temperatures and will usher in a round of storms that could produce as much as three-quarters of an inch of rain, the National Weather Service says. Forecasters say isolated to widely scattered showers will move north-northeast across the Hill Country and along...
Fifth UT-area Subway robbery reported in two months
Fifth UT-area Subway robbery reported in two months

An armed robbery occurred Tuesday night at a Subway fast food restaurant on San Antonio Street near West 24th Street, University of Texas police said. At 10 p.m., police said they were looking for the robber, who witnesses described as a man wearing baggy clothing, who might be in his mid-30s.  This is the the fifth Subway to be robbed in...
Manchaca vs. Menchaca: Step closer to renaming South Austin road
Manchaca vs. Menchaca: Step closer to renaming South Austin road

It’s always been a head-scratcher for outsiders — Austinites pronouncing Manchaca Road as “MAN-shack.” But after decades of confusion, will Austin finally get it right? After six years and more than $24,000 raised, retired Judge Bob Perkins certainly hopes so. Since 2011, he’s been a champion for Texas Revolutionary captain...
Mayor Adler’s State of City address covers taxes, CodeNext and Russia
Mayor Adler’s State of City address covers taxes, CodeNext and Russia

Austin Mayor Steve Adler delivered Tuesday a State of the City address that blamed the state for continual rises in property tax bills, touted the numerous amount of road projects ahead that will — hopefully — improve traffic and vowed to make Austin a global leader. In an address that checked in at about 42 minutes, Adler hit on many of...
More Stories