26-year-old father of young son shot, killed in Northeast Austin


Highlights

A man was shot dead around 3 p.m. Tuesday in the 1500 block of East Parmer Lane.

Police haven’t yet determined who killed him and are asking the public’s help with the case.

After the father of a 10-year-old boy was found fatally shot in a Northeast Austin parking lot on Tuesday, police are asking for the public’s help to figure out who killed him.

Joshua Hardesty, 26, was shot and killed about 3 p.m. at the Heights at Parmer apartments in the 1500 block of East Parmer Lane, Austin police said. Investigators haven’t yet identified a suspect in Hardesty’s death but said they think multiple people shot him.

A reward of up to $1,000 is available for the first person to share information that leads to an arrest. Tipsters can call police at 911 or call Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477 to leave an anonymous tip, or use the smartphone app “P3 Tips.”

Investigators think the incident was the result of a “drug transaction that went wrong,” Austin police Sgt. Eric De Los Santos said.

“Homicide detectives arrived on scene and encountered several witnesses,” De Los Santos said. “I might note that (witnesses were) rather apprehensive. They’re scared, obviously, so the cooperation kind of varied out at the scene. We’re asking if anyone has any information, or even video, of this incident, to contact us.”

According to Hardesty’s father, Cliff Hardesty, a young boy who was coming home from school witnessed the shooting and recounted seeing several men wearing red shirts and red bandanas get out of a silver Jeep and open fire on Joshua Hardesty.

Joshua Hardesty was the father of a 10-year-old son, Cliff Hardesty said.

Shootings have happened in this area before, most recently on May 4 when a man was shot in the same block but had injuries that were not life-threatening, Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services medics said at the time. Nearly a year ago, on Sept. 17, 2017, a shooter killed a man in the 1700 block of Parmer in what police said was a road rage incident.

During Tuesday’s shooting, neighbor Delaney Calloway said he heard multiple gunshots while he was in his apartment. He called a few others who live at the apartment complex before he walked outside to search for the shooting scene.

As Calloway came out, a school bus entered the complex, and he saw a large group of parents waiting to pick up their children, he said.

Calloway said he walked farther north to the complex’s back parking lot and saw the victim lying on the ground.

“It was a surreal scene to see this man just laying there,” Calloway said.

A large white dog lingered next to Hardesty’s body for over an hour after he was shot, and police have since confirmed that the dog belonged to Hardesty.

On Wednesday afternoon, Austin Animal Services was caring for the dog, and police hadn’t yet allowed the animal center to release the dog to family.

Witnesses saw Hardesty’s dog lying down next to him after he was shot. Detectives at the scene scratched the dog behind its ears as they gathered evidence.

“The dog was laying there with his master,” Calloway said.

Mark Sloat, a program manager for Austin Animal Services, said it’s not uncommon for dogs to stick with their owners after they die.

“There’s quite often times when we go in with EMS to remove pets from homes where somebody has passed away, and the dogs don’t want to leave the decedent,” Sloat said. “It’s kind of sad, but they’re loyal to the end.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Jury gives life sentence to man suspected of numerous attacks on women
Jury gives life sentence to man suspected of numerous attacks on women

A man accused of a series of attacks against women in North Austin was sentenced to life in prison on Friday. Nicodemo Coria-Gonzalez, 27, was convicted of aggravated sexual assault this week in connection to an attack on a 56-year-old woman along an isolated dirt path in April 2016. DNA evidence linked Coria-Gonzalez to the crime. After the conviction...
3D-printed gun creator Cody Wilson arrested in Taiwan
3D-printed gun creator Cody Wilson arrested in Taiwan

Two days after authorities filed sexual assault charges against Cody Wilson, the Austin man at the center of the national debate over 3D-printed guns, Taiwanese law enforcement officials took him into custody in that country’s capital with plans to return him to the United States. Wilson was arrested in the Wanhua District of Taipei, Taiwanese...
Cold front could bring heavy rain to Austin area Saturday, Sunday
Cold front could bring heavy rain to Austin area Saturday, Sunday

A cold front moving into the Austin area Saturday morning will likely bring thunderstorms to the region, making for a wet kick-off at the Longhorns’ home football game this afternoon. But it won’t actually be very cold, National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Platt said. Temperatures should still reach the mid-80s all weekend, with...
Texas agency dumps proposal to raise retired teachers’ health premiums
Texas agency dumps proposal to raise retired teachers’ health premiums

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas officially decided Friday to ditch a proposal to raise health insurance premiums for retired teachers under age 65. The system’s board over the summer had considered raising premiums for about 68,000 retirees and their dependents by $50 a month in 2019. But amid pressure from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, board...
Paxton’s office warns AISD in flap over church’s gay-marriage beliefs
Paxton’s office warns AISD in flap over church’s gay-marriage beliefs

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office on Friday warned Austin school district officials against blocking a Christian church that opposes gay marriage from using district facilities, saying such action would violate state law and the First Amendment. Celebration Church of Georgetown has been holding services most Sundays since Aug. 26 at...
More Stories