The father of 26-year-old Joshua Hardesty, who was gunned down at a Northeast Austin apartment complex this week, wants to find the people who killed his son.
“This is a parent’s worst nightmare,” Cliff Hardesty told the American-Statesman on Wednesday. “My son was such a beautiful boy, and someone brutally murdered him. I’m begging people to reach out to the Austin Police Department and let them know what they saw.”
Joshua Hardesty, the father of a 10-year-old boy, was killed about 3 p.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of the Heights at Parmer apartments, in the 1500 block of East Parmer Lane in Northeast Austin, police have said. Police are still investigating who is responsible for the shooting, but they believe it involved multiple attackers.
A reward of up to $1,000 is available for the first person to share information that leads to an arrest. Tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477 to leave an anonymous tip or use the smartphone app “P3 Tips.”
Joshua Hardesty was born in Katy and moved to Cedar Park as a teenager, his father said. Joshua’s son was born when Joshua was 16; the Hardestys, the boy’s mother and her family all worked to raise him together. Joshua made his son and his education his priorities and graduated from Vista Ridge High School before getting a degree in economics from Southwestern University in Williamson County, his father said.
“He was the perfect father at such a young age,” Cliff Hardesty said. “He put his son first above everything, and he still worked to succeed.”
Joshua Hardesty’s dog, a large, white, 1-year-old German shepherd named Zero, will go to his son, Cliff Hardesty said. Zero stayed by Joshua Hardesty’s side for over an hour after he was gunned down, lingering by the body as investigators gathered evidence.
Over the past several years, Joshua Hardesty had made a living by purchasing wholesale products, such as headbands, T-shirts and shoes, and selling them at events such as concerts, his father said.
Police found a small amount of marijuana in Joshua Hardesty’s car and believe the Hardesty’s shooting was drug-related, but Cliff Hardesty disagrees.
“My son had money because of his ventures,” Cliff Hardesty said, speculating that people might have been coming after his son for that money.