Shooting at Southeast Austin Popeyes leads to assault charges for couple, police say

12:21 p.m Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 Local
AMERICAN-STATESMAN file photo/Jessalyn Tamez
Austin Police Department

A couple faces assault charges after a shooting Tuesday outside a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen restaurant on East Riverside Drive in Southeast Austin, according to court documents.

Austin police say 29-year-old Derren Steven Desdunes and 39-year-old Rose Mary Finney came inside the restaurant around 5 p.m. and confronted a customer.

In an arrest warrant affidavit, the man told police that after Finney grabbed him by the throat and spat in his face, he grabbed her by her sweater, and the two took the fight outside.

Desdunes joined in, punching the man in the back of the head, the document said.

The man said in the affidavit that Finney pulled a knife, and only later did he realize that he had been cut on the hips and on one of his fingers. He said he grabbed her wrist to stop her from cutting him when he saw Desdunes draw a black handgun and point it at him, according to the affidavit.

The man told police that he tried to use Finney as a shield, but once a space opened up between the two, Desdunes stepped closer and put the gun to the man’s stomach. As he twisted his body to avoid the gun, the affidavit said, the gun went off and struck a car behind them.

According to the document, the man took cover behind the car as Desdunes fired three more times.

Desdunes and Finney fled the scene before police arrived, the affidavit said.

The victim appeared to be familiar with Desdunes because the man told police in the affidavit “that this has been an ongoing issue with Derren pulling a gun on people.”

Police said they found a bullet hole on the man’s shirt and two vehicles with bullet holes in them.

Desdunes faces felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (gun) and deadly conduct with a gun, with bail set at a combined $125,000.

Finney also faces a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (knife), with bail set at $75,000.

Neither Desdunes nor Finney were in Travis County Jail on Thursday, jail records show.