2nd suspect charged crash that killed 2 children
A second man has been arrested and charged in a crash that killed two children and critically injured a woman in Cedar Park, according to court records and the man’s attorney.
Blake Ayres Kirkpatrick of Cedar Park, 21, and a second suspect are accused of drag racing in the moments before the crash.
Kirkpatrick’s attorney, Bob Phillips, said his client is charged with two counts of racing causing a death and one count of racing causing a serious injury. Kirkpatrick has been booked into the Travis County Jail and is now out on bond.
The crash happened last month along West Whitestone Boulevard and Walton Way near U.S. 183.
According to an arrest affidavit, Cedar Park police identified Kirkpatrick after getting numerous tips that he was behind the wheel of a Ford F-250 that was seen racing a black Dodge Ram just before the crash.
That Dodge crashed into a Nissan SUV, carrying two children and a woman. The children, Elijah Chaudhary, 8, and Daniel Chaudhary, 1, were killed. Zara Salman, who was driving the car that the stepbrothers were in, remains in the hospital. She was Daniel’s mother and Elijah’s stepmother.
Police contacted Kirkpatrick, according to the affidavit, and later went to his house where they found his truck, which police say matched the one seen in video surveillance of the area.
Police have already charged 18-year-old Hayden Hammer with racing and crashing into the family. They say he was behind the wheel of a Dodge.
“Three of Kirkpatrick’s co-workers stated in the days following the collision, Kirkpatrick had come into work talking about driving next to the black Dodge Ram when the collision occurred,” the affidavit says. “He advised them that the persons in the Dodge wanted to race but he didn’t race them.”
“Our hearts go out to the two children who lost their lives and to their mother who was injured in this tragic auto accident,” Phillips said. “At this point, any other comment is premature and inappropriate.”
— Tony Plohetski, American-Statesman
Police seeking help solving case that led to SWAT standoff
Austin police are seeking the public’s help to solve a case that led to a SWAT standoff in South Austin Monday.
The standoff ended at 8:16 p.m. when the SWAT team found a man — identified Wednesday as 47-year-old Kenneth “Kyle” Keller — dead inside the house they had surrounded at 3005 Fontana Drive.
The incident started when a woman with critical injuries and a bloodied face asked her neighbor to help her, police said. The neighbor called 911 about 4 p.m., and the woman was taken to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, officials said. The initial information was that the woman fell down, police said.
However, investigators later learned that a man who possibly attacked her was inside the Fontana Drive house and might be armed, Austin police said. Police have not confirmed whether the woman was attacked.
After urging the man to come out via megaphone for several hours, SWAT officers navigated a robot with a camera into the house. Once the camera was inside, officers could see that the man had died, police said.
Police have not yet released how they think the woman was critically injured or how the man was fatally injured.
The woman is still in the hospital in critical condition, police said Wednesday.
Anyone with additional information about this case should call Austin homicide detectives at 512-477-3588.
Katie Hall, American-Statesman
Warrant issued for Subway robbery suspect
Police have issued an arrest warrant for a woman investigators believe robbed a Subway fast food restaurant Friday, court records say.
Dietra Lee, 42, is charged with robbery by threat. She had not yet been detained as of Wednesday afternoon, records show.
The affidavit says a woman came into the Subway on West Martin Luther King Jr. Street, at San Antonio Street, around 8:40 p.m. She bought two cookies, then gave the Subway employee a note that read “I have a gun. Give me the cash in the drawer. I’ll shoot.” She showed the employee a bulge in the waistband of her pants, the document says.
The employee gave her cash, and she left with the money and cookies, the affidavit says.
Minutes after the robbery, officers stopped Lee less than two blocks away, the affidavit says. She had a cookie with her and a flashlight in her waistband.
Officers brought Lee to the Subway, and the Subway employee did not identify Lee as the robber, the document says.
However, an Austin police detective reviewed the Subway surveillance tape the next day, and the robber was wearing the same clothes as Lee, the affidavit says.
The woman’s arrest affidavit does not name her as a suspect in two previous robberies for different Subways in the area. Both of those incidents happened on Jan. 19, police officials have said.
— Katie Hall, American-Statesman
Police: Man tries to rob Randalls, then robs bank
A man demanded money from the teller at the drive-thru pharmacy window of a Northwest Austin Randalls on Wednesday before he gave up and robbed a nearby bank instead, Austin police said.
The man approached the Randalls drive-thru window on foot around 6 p.m. and demanded cash, but he did not walk away from that drugstore with any cash, police said. Instead, he walked away from the window and went into a Wells Fargo bank in the same strip mall at Research Boulevard and Braker Lane.
He entered the bank and demanded money, then left with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said. He didn’t display a weapon.
Officers found a man nearby who matched the description witnesses gave and took him into custody, police said.
Police have not yet released that suspect’s name. Austin police robbery detectives are currently investigating the case.
— American-Statesman Staff