AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Austin’s police chief is pledging more security for the city’s entertainment district followingmultiple shootings over the weekend as the South by Southwest Festival drew to a close.
Austin officers responded to three separate shootings starting Saturday morning that occurred within a four-hour span, sending five people to the hospital, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Two more shootings occurred within 24 hours, including officers exchanging gunfire early Sunday with an unidentified man near where the annual SXSW festival was held.
The weeklong festival melding tech, politics and entertainment ended Sunday evening.
Police Chief Brian Manley said none of the shootings appear to be related, calling the weekend of violence “unacceptable.”
“We are not going to let our entertainment district be turned into a place where shootings become the common occurrence,” Manley said.
Manley plans to meet with department leaders this week to ensure the district has additional officers on duty.
Austin police believe the officer-involved shooting was triggered by a minor collision between a Maserati Levante and a Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The vehicles then drove to another intersection, stopped at a traffic light and a man from the Maserati punched someone inside of the Chevrolet. Surveillance cameras show a muzzle flash from inside the Chevrolet, indicating that one of the car’s occupants fired a weapon at the attacker, Manley said.
When officers arrived, the wounded man shot at police and four officers returned fire, according to Manley. Both the Maserati and the Chevrolet drove off, and police announced Sunday afternoon that the Maserati was located with the body of a deceased man inside. Police haven’t identified the deceased male.
Investigators are still searching for the Chevrolet and other suspects involved in the shooting.
Information from: Austin American-Statesman, http://www.statesman.com