Police: Austin officer ‘saved lives’ in Burnet County road rage attack


An Austin police detective exchanged gunfire with a man who authorities say was firing at another vehicle.

Investigators said the man attacked a family of three on RM 1431 before the off-duty officer arrived.

An off-duty Austin police detective who intervened in a road rage incident near Marble Falls “saved lives” when he shot and wounded a man Thursday night, Austin interim Police Chief Brian Manley said Friday.

The officer, a 19-year-veteran of the department, was driving home in the 12200 block of RM 1431, just east of Marble Falls when he came upon a 55-year-old man pointing a handgun at a vehicle with a family of three, who Manley said included two adults and a teenager.

The sheriff’s office told KVUE-TV that the man had rammed an SUV and forced the vehicle off the road before the detective showed up.

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

Manley said the detective recognized that lives were on the line, and drew his firearm.

The Burnet County sheriff’s office said the detective exchanged gunfire with the man, and hit him twice as the family from the SUV escaped into a patch of brush nearby.

The wounded man was flown to Dell Seton Medical Center after the shooting. The sheriff’s office said he was unconscious when he was taken from the scene, but was listed in stable condition Friday.

Manley said his injuries are not considered life-threatening.

The police chief said the case highlights the fact that law enforcement officers, even when off-duty, are still called upon to do their jobs and protect the public.

“That’s why you always have to be aware, you have to pay attention, and you have to be prepared to take action,” Manley said. “Had he not been on that stretch of roadway at that time, there’s really no telling what would have happened.”

Austin police officers had not been involved in a shooting since May 7, when a man suspected of firing a gun on Sixth Street was shot and killed as he ran from pursuing officers. Police said at the time that the man, 24-year-old Landon Nobles, fired at them as he ran away. Members of Nobles’ family, however, have disputed the department’s account of the incident.

This year, Austin police been involved in four other shootings so far: on Jan. 14Feb. 22April 7 and May 2. All but one were fatal.

“I think our officers are always restrained in their use of force, and trying to use force only in those instances where they are trying to overcome resistance,” Manley said.

Austin police will conduct an administrative investigation into the shooting, but the incident will be handled by the Burnet County sheriff’s office and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The officer, whose was not released Friday, was placed on administrative duty while an internal investigation is underway, per department policy for officer-involved shootings.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Kirans Austin story on 1.18.18
Kirans Austin story on 1.18.18

story text story text story text story text
Missing Buda man found dead in Travis County, officials say
Missing Buda man found dead in Travis County, officials say

A missing Buda man with “severe medical issues” was found dead Wednesday in Travis County, Buda police said. Buda police did not immediately release his cause of death. Before his body was found, 69-year-old David Dvorchak had last been seen Monday, leaving his Buda home for an appointment, Buda police said.
Cornyn, Cruz take opposing sides in Senate debate
Cornyn, Cruz take opposing sides in Senate debate

It was as close to a standoff as ever happens on the Senate floor: Texas GOP U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz were standing next to each other but working against each other, trying to convince a hold out senator to vote their way on foreign surveillance legislation. The clock was ticking on Tuesday night, with the usual 15-minute procedural vote...
Trump invokes Barbara Jordan in immigration debate, angering Democrats
Trump invokes Barbara Jordan in immigration debate, angering Democrats

President Donald Trump added an unexpected name into the national debate over immigration policy Wednesday by invoking the words of Barbara Jordan, the late groundbreaking Texas Democrat, in a message honoring her on the 22nd anniversary of her death. Trump said his “America First” immigration agenda was furthering “the spirit of...
Paxton: School voting action appears to violate state law
Paxton: School voting action appears to violate state law

A resolution encouraging students and public school employees to vote, adopted by school districts across the state, might have violated a state law that prohibits using public education money for partisan purposes, an opinion by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Wednesday. Texas Educators Vote, a partnership of mostly pro-public education groups...
More Stories