- Staff American-Statesman staff
Police seeking jewelry store robbery suspects
Detectives are looking for two men who they believe robbed a jewelry store near Interstate 35 and Airport Boulevard on Saturday afternoon, police said.
The men entered the store at the 6300 block of North I-35 around 4:40 p.m. and displayed a gun before they took jewelry and ran away, police said. No one was reported injured. Police said the men were last seen walking eastbound from the intersection of I-35 and U.S. 290.
Anyone who knows or recognizes these men can submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers by calling 512-472-8477 or by downloading a smartphone app called “P3 Tips.” Tipsters may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.
— Katie Hall, American-Statesman
Police looking for shooting suspect
Austin police are looking for Hector Mario Guajardo-Garcia, 32, who they believe is responsible for shooting two men in North Austin last week, according to an arrest warrant filed Tuesday.
On Nov. 23, police responded to a call at the 9600 block of North Lamar Blvd. and found two people had been shot. The first victim was shot in his left arm and was taken to North Austin Hospital, while the second victim was shot multiple times in his stomach and was taken to Round Rock Hospital for emergency surgery, the affidavit says.
Witnesses who were with the two victims when the shooting happened said the pair walked up the vehicle and, shortly after, gunshots were fired, the affidavit says. The two victims came back to the group and told the witnesses they had been shot, according to the affidavit.
Police spoke with a witness who said that the second victim had told her that he robbed Guajardo-Garcia “during a narcotics transaction a few days prior” to the shooting, the affidavit says.
The first victim also identified Guajardo-Garcia as the suspect through a photo lineup done by police on Nov. 28, according to the affidavit.
Police were not able to speak with the second victim because he is still in the hospital on life support, the document says.
Guajardo-Garcia is being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was not in custody as of Wednesday afternoon.
— Anusha Lalani, American-Statesman
Police ID pedestrian hit, killed on I-35
Austin police have identified a man who was hit and killed on Interstate 35 on Nov. 20.
Officials say Christopher Joseph Gorman, 36, ran across the southbound lanes of I-35 not far from 51st Street, and someone driving a 2010 Jaguar hit him. First responders got the 911 call at 7:44 p.m.
Gorman died at the scene. The driver of the Jaguar remained at the scene and cooperated, police said. No charges are expected to be filed against the driver.
This was Austin’s 61st fatal traffic crash and the 64th death of 2017. At this time in 2016, there were 64 fatal traffic crashes and 65 traffic deaths.
This case is still being investigated. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Austin police Vehicular Homicide Unit at 512-974-5594.
— Katie Hall, American-Statesman
44 Austin police SUVs back on the beat
The first batch of Ford Explorers that Austin police pulled from service after carbon monoxide leaks sickened officers are back on the streets.
City officials announced on Wednesday that 44 of the 439 pulled vehicles have returned to service.
“In September, the city’s Fleet Services department took delivery of the first batch of repaired vehicles back from Ford and further testing was carried out, both by Fleet Department staff and APD officers,” a statement from the city said.
“The City continues to send vehicles to Ford for repairs,” the statement said. “The process of transitioning the remaining vehicles to normal service is expected to take a number of months.”
Authorities said Ford identified problems with the vehicles and advised local dealerships on how to repair them.
While the vehicles have been out of service, patrol officers have been riding in pairs.
Moving forward, city leaders said they will look for opportunities for a more diverse fleet of vehicles.
Nearly 20 more vehicles are in the testing cycle and are slated to return soon. All remaining vehicles will undergo at least 20 hours of police testing before rolling back out.
— Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman