Teen shot, killed woman at East Austin apartment after rampage of aggravated robberies, police say


4:25 p.m. update: A 19-year-old man confessed to shooting and killing a 30-year-old woman as he attempted to rob her Tuesday at an East Austin apartment complex after committing two aggravated robberies the day prior that left three people injured, Austin police said. 

Xavier Lewis, 19, is accused of killing Ebony Michelle Sheppard, police said. Lewis was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with capital murder as well as five counts of aggravated robbery.

Lewis had been arrested and charged with a shooting robbery from 2016 and was wearing an GPS-tracking ankle monitor at the time of the Monday and Tuesday incidents. The ankle monitor puts him at the scene of two aggravated robberies reported on Christmas Day as well as Sheppard’s shooting, Austin police Lt. Jason Staniszewski said.

Sheppard was found mortally wounded in the 6600 block of Ed Bluestein Boulevard around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, police have said.

Police knew that there had been a nearby aggravated robbery the day before — on Christmas Day — in which four people were robbed and two of them were shot at Dottie Jordan Park off Loyola Lane, Staniszewski said. Also on Christmas Day, there was a car-jacking in the 6600 block of Highpoint Drive, down the street from where Sheppard was found the next day, in which a man took an elderly woman’s car, police said. The car-jacker also ran over a person in the process who was not the elderly woman, Staniszewski said. That person is in serious condition.

If convicted of capital murder, Lewis faces either a life-sentence in prison or the death penalty.

Investigators don’t believe Lewis knew Sheppard, Staniszewski said. 

“At this time, it appears ... he just saw her walking and figured he would rob her and get some money,” Staniszewski said. “That’s when she started screaming, and he shot her.”

Earlier: Austin police have arrested a man suspected of killing a woman in an East Austin apartment complex on Tuesday.

Xavier Lewis, 19, was taken into custody on Thursday in Pflugerville, according to police.

Police had been searching for Lewis in connection with the death of Ebony Michelle Sheppard, 30, who was found mortally wounded in the 6600 block of Ed Bluestein Boulevard around 11:44 p.m. on Dec. 26.

Authorities said Sheppard had obvious signs of trauma on her body, later determined by the Travis County medical examiner’s office to be a gunshot wound, and was rushed to Dell Seton Medical Center, where she died about an hour later.

Police said investigators linked Lewis to the killing, along with a string of aggravated robberies on Christmas Day.

Lewis is being held on five counts of aggravated robbery and one count of capital murder in Travis County Jail, police said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Missing 15-year-old Kentucky girl found safe in Louisville, police say
Missing 15-year-old Kentucky girl found safe in Louisville, police say

A 15-year-old Kentucky girl who left school to leave with an unknown person has been found, WKYT reported Thursday. Amber Renae Wagers was found safe in Louisville, the Berea Police Department said in a Facebook post. Wagers, 15, walked out of Berea Community School around 10 a.m. Wednesday to leave with an unknown person, police said. Investigators...
James Shaw Jr. raises $170,000 for Waffle House shooting victims
James Shaw Jr. raises $170,000 for Waffle House shooting victims

James Shaw Jr., who disarmed a gunman who opened fire at a Waffle House in Tennessee on Sunday, has raised more than $170,000 in a fundraiser to help the victims’ families, CNN reported. Shaw, who wrestled a rifle away from the gunman and tossed it over the counter, launched a GoFundMe campaign that easily topped its $15,000 goal. Four...
Kim Jong Un steps over border, meets with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in
Kim Jong Un steps over border, meets with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in

In an electric moment, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stepped over the heavily fortified demilitarized zone to shake hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Reuters reported Friday. Smiling and holding hands, the Korean leaders met for the first summit between the two nations in more than a decade.  It’s the first time since...
Subway announces it will close 500 stores in US
Subway announces it will close 500 stores in US

Subway announced that it will be closing nearly 500 stores in the United States while adding more than 1,000 shops worldwide, WPVI reported Thursday. The chain, which got its start in August 1965 when founder Fred DeLuca opened a shop in Bridgeport, Connecticut, has nearly 27,000 stores in the United States and 44,000 worldwide. According...
TX women’s program makes gains after years of waning participation
TX women’s program makes gains after years of waning participation

A state health program for low-income women served more patients, attracted more providers and put more women on long-acting reversible contraception last year than in prior years, according to a report released Thursday. Even with the improvements, it’s unclear whether the program, called Healthy Texas Women, is serving more women than before...
More Stories