UPDATE: Attacker in shooting rampage randomly targeted victims, Austin police say 


2:30 p.m. update: Authorities have determined that the weapon used in a shooting rampage Wednesday matched the one used to kill a man at a South Austin apartment complex on Monday, Assistant Police Chief Joe Chacon said.

Chacon on Thursday said four shootings Wednesday involved several 911 calls across South Austin, most of them within an hour. 

The first incident was reported at 2:06 p.m. from the the 8100 block of Interstate 35 South on the northbound frontage road, Chacon said. A 33-year-old woman was shot in the head while driving with her three children, he said. The woman is recovering at a hospital. 

A second shooting was reported shortly after in the 5300 block of Ponciana Drive. 

Police received a third call from the Post South Lamar Apartments at 1500 block of South Lamar Boulevard, Chacon said. It was unclear whether a weapon was fired or if anyone was injured in that incident. 

Then, another shooting in the 4000 block of South Lamar Boulevard left one woman with injuries to her face after a bullet shattered one of her vehicle’s windows, Chacon said. 

Travis County sheriff’s deputies reported the last shooting incident from the 6300 block of Bob Wentz Park Road. 

Chacon said investigators used surveillance video taken from the I-35 shooting to identify a suspect vehicle. They determined that the white Chevy Tahoe belonged to 29-year-old Charles Curry, who was later arrested at the Post South Lamar apartments around 6 p.m. 

Chacon said Curry was driving when he shot at the victims. He said the victims in Wednesday’s shootings appeared to have been targeted randomly. 

Austin police have charged Curry with aggravated assault in connection with Wednesday’s shootings. Authorities also plan to charge Curry with murder in the Monday shooting death of 32-year-old Christian Meroney, who lived at the Post South Lamar apartments, Chacon said.

Police have not determined a motive behind the incidents or if Curry and Meroney knew each other, Chacon said. 

Earlier: Austin police on Thursday identified the man they believe was responsible for a homicide on Monday and a string of shootings in South Austin on Wednesday as 29-year-old Charles Curry. 

Curry is currently being held at the Travis County Jail. He faces a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Curry’s arrest came after four different shootings were reported across south Austin on Wednesday afternoon.

One of the shootings happened around 2:07 p.m. in the 8100 block of the Interstate 35 service road between William Cannon Drive and Slaughter Lane. Austin-Travis County EMS medics said they took a 30-year-old woman to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Another incident happened on West Gate Boulevard, but police would not provide details about the other shootings.

Around 6 p.m., police arrested Curry at the Post apartments in the 1500 block of South Lamar Boulevard, where two days earlier 32-year-old Christian Meroney was shot to death.

Police responded to reports of gunfire there shortly before Curry’s arrest on Wednesday as well. Authorities said a vehicle was struck by a bullet.

Police confirmed that the cases were related but they would not go into specifics on Wednesday.

Post South Lamar employees sent a message to residents just before 7 p.m. saying that police told them the suspect from the deadly shooting was in custody, and that a portion of the third floor of the building would be evacuated and placed under police control.

Curry, who described himself on his LinkedIn page a having a “financial background with a current focus on politics,” has a lengthy history in Texas politics. His LinkedIn page listed former jobs including campaign work for Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and policy analysis for the Texas Senate.

The LinkedIn page said his responsibilities included canvassing for State Rep. Lyle Larson and Straus, interacting with constituents and crafting policy.

Straus spokesman Jason Embry said Curry was employed by political consulting firm Murphy Nasica, and never worked directly for Straus’ campaign.

Murphy Nasica president Craig Murphy confirmed to the American-Statesman that Curry was briefly a paid contractor for the company in September 2017.

Murphy said Curry, who was involved with canvassing voters, worked for 12 days as a contractor on a trial period “and then he disappeared. He said he had some sort of health issue” – Murphy said he thought it was some sort of arthritis.

He said Curry then reappeared again after two weeks – “then disappeared again after 10 days.”

During the work trial period “he didn’t meet our standards and didn’t show any indication of being good at his job,” Murphy said. 

He also listed work as a policy analyst for state Sen. Joan Huffman during the 85th Texas Legislature.

A spokesman for Huffman confirmed that Curry worked for her from Nov. 2, 2016, through May 5, 2017, as a temporary employee during the legislative session last year.

On Facebook, he said he worked as an independent private client adviser at JP Morgan Securities LLC, and options trader at TD Ameritrade and as a financial adviser at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

On April 25, Curry launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to lobby Texas lawmakers to relax medical marijuana laws to help those suffering from epilepsy in Texas.


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