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Police hope home security video yields clues in bombing, chief says

Deputies seeking video in connection to western Travis County homicide


Deputies seeking video in connection to homicide

Authorities are asking for the public’s helping locating an armed and possibly wounded suspect that fled a homicide in western Travis County on Friday.

Travis County sheriff’s deputies at 4:45 a.m. Friday responded to a home in the 9000 block of Oliver Drive after a caller reported an intruder inside the house.

When deputies arrived they found a man in his 50s dead inside the home and evidence that multiple shots had been fired, officials said.

The victim has not yet been identified.

On Saturday, a suspect was still not in custody.

The sheriff’s office is asking any home or business owners in the area around Oliver Drive that have video surveillance from March 1 and 2 to contact its tip line at 512-854-1444.

— Mary Huber, American-Statesman


Fire guts abandoned school

Firefighters extinguished a blaze that started Saturday morning in an old, abandoned schoolhouse near the Hancock Recreation Center, Austin Fire Department Division Chief Palmer Buck said.

Crews were alerted to the fire in the 700 block of 41st Street just before 8 a.m. as heavy smoke flooded the area, Buck said.

When crews responded, they found the blaze confined to the attic. Buck said they had a hard time navigating the 8,000-square-foot building so they raised the call to a 2-alarm fire. Sixty firefighters and 14 fire trucks responded, Buck said.

No one was injured, fire officials said. Damages are estimated at $70,000.

Investigators are still working to determine what caused the blaze.

The building, which was built in the late 1940s, was scheduled for demolition next month and Saturday’s fire “(expedited) that process,” Buck said.

— American-Statesman Staff


Teens caught after escaping detention center

Three teenagers that escaped a juvenile detention center in Georgetown Saturday morning were found and taken into custody, Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody said on Twitter.

Sheriff’s officials said the the 16-year-olds escaped from the Williamson County Juvenile Detention Center at 200 Wilco Way.

The teenagers had been charged individual with possession of dangerous drugs and evading, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, Chody said.

— Mary Huber, American-Statesman


Affidavit: Murder suspect had strangled his wife

A man who was arrested Friday for his wife’s murder had been previously reported to police for trying to strangle her, an arrest affidavit filed in Travis County district court says.

Jose Israel Amaya, 39, was detained by SWAT officers at a residence in the 5400 block of La Loma Lane on Thursday, officials said.

When officers entered the home, they found 54-year-old Patricia Campos dead, police said. An autopsy determined the manner of death as homicide.

Austin police said they received a tip Thursday from a man that said Amaya had confessed to him that he had strangled his wife.

Police contacted Campos’ employer and learned she had not shown up to work for two days, officials said. They sent officers and a SWAT team to the couple’s residence, where Amaya surrendered to police, authorities said.

Amaya was booked into the Travis County Jail on Friday, where he is being held in lieu of bail set at $750,000, records show.

An affidavit says that police had previously been called to the couple’s residence in December after Campos reported that her husband had tried to strangle her during an argument.

When Campos met with a victim services counselor, she said that Amaya had assaulted her once before, both times threatening to kill her and himself, the document says.

After the latest incident, Campos had declined to file criminal charges, the affidavit says.

— Mary Huber, American-Statesman

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