Austin police have arrested a suspect in connection with a shooting near the SXSW festival.
The shooting took place near East 6th Street in downtown Austin, according to police. Four victims were shot around 2 am and taken to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Officers were on patrol when they heard several gunshots coming from the area and responded.
“I know they made over 30 arrests and arrested over 19 people with handguns on their persons,” says Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday. “So it was a very busy night leading up to the shooting.”
This shooting near the SXSW festival is the second mass shooting in Austin’s entertainment district in the last year. A teenager was arrested for gun violence that killed one person and left 13 injured on June 13 last year. To help police the city, the Austin Police Department says it had seven times the normal amount of police officers in the entertainment district.
There were around 150 APD officers on hand to deal with the SXSW festival. Usually, there are around 20 to 30 officers during non-festival weekends. Last week, Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon said officers were being pulled from specialized units to combat gun violence during the SXSW festival.
Police took multiple people into custody after the shooting. Officers later announced they had the shooting suspect in custody at 5 am, just a few hours after the shooting. APD is not releasing the suspect’s name due to the ongoing nature of the investigation. Officers say the altercation started between a group of two people, and it was not a random act.
“During our preliminary investigation, we discovered the shooting started as a disturbance between two groups of people. Due to the ongoing investigation, we are not releasing the name of the person arrested,” an APD spokesperson confirmed about the incident.