Austin officer ‘saved lives’ when he shot suspect in Burnet Co. road-rage incident, chief says


10:35 a.m. update: An off-duty Austin police detective “saved lives” when he shot and injured a man late Thursday in Burnet County during an apparent road-rage incident, Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said Friday.

The officer, a 19-year veteran who police did not yet identify, “recognized that lives were in danger,” Manley said when he encountered the 55-year-old man around 10:30 p.m. on FM 1431, just east of Marble Falls.

Manley declined to provide details into the incident, instead deferring to lead investigators with the Burnet County sheriff’s office.

According to Burnet County authorities, the man had rammed an SUV carrying a family of three and forced the vehicle off the road.

He had been firing into the vehicle when the officer was driving by on his way home. The detective stopped and confronted him, officials said, and the two traded gunfire. 

No one in the family – who Manley said included two adults and a teenager – was injured, the sheriff’s office said.

The man was wounded twice and taken to an area hospital for injuries not considered to be life-threatening, officials said.

The Burnet County sheriff’s office and the Texas Department of Public Safety are conducting the criminal investigation, Manley said.

The chief said the Austin Police Department would be conducting an administrative investigation of the detective, who was placed on administrative duty – standard protocol in any shooting involving an officer.

Manley said “there’s really no telling what would have happened” had the officer not confronted the man. 

“Even when you’re off-duty, you may be on-duty,” the chief said. 

Earlier: An off-duty Austin police officer shot and injured a man while responding to an apparent road-rage incident late Thursday near Marble Falls, according to the Burnet County sheriff’s office.

The off-duty officer, who has not yet been identified, called 911 to report that a man was firing on a vehicle in the 12200 block of east FM 1431 in southeastern Burnet County, officials said. The officer exchanged gunfire with the man before wounding him.

The sheriff’s office told KVUE-TV that the man had rammed an SUV carrying a family of three and forced the vehicle off the road. No one in the family was injured, the sheriff’s office said.

The man was taken to Dell Seton Medical Center with injuries not considered life-threatening, but the officer was not hurt, official said.

Burnet County authorities closed FM 1431 between FM 1174 and Smithwick overnight while first responders finished working the scene.


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