AUSTIN, TEXAS - Police arrested one suspect and were searching for another Saturday after a mass shooting on a crowded downtown Austin street left 14 people wounded earlier in the day, two critically.
The Austin Police Department said in a news release that the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force had assisted in making the arrest, but it provided no other details, other than to say it was continuing to follow up on leads for the suspect still at large.
Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon said the shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. on a street packed with bars and barricaded off from vehicle traffic. He said investigators believed it began as a dispute between two parties. Chacon said both suspects are male, but he declined to disclose details such as whether both fired shots, saying the investigation was ongoing.
"Most of the victims were innocent bystanders, but we're still sorting out all of the victims to see what their involvement is in this case,” Chacon said.
One of three shootings
The mass shooting — one of at least three in the U.S. overnight — sparked panic along 6th Street, a popular nightlife destination in the city that's home to the University of Texas.
One witness, Matt Perlstein, told KXAN-TV that he was waiting with a friend to enter a bar when gunfire erupted.
"Everything was totally fine,” Perlstein said, then gunfire erupted. “We just heard like ... a bunch of gunshots going off. Everyone got on the ground. We couldn’t even comprehend what was going on at the time.”
Chacon said his officers responded quickly to the area.
“They were able to immediately begin lifesaving measures for many of these patients, including applications of tourniquets, applications of chest seals,” he said.
Because of the chaos on the barricaded street, police drove six of the wounded to hospitals in their squad cars. Ambulances transported four people and the other four made their own way to hospitals, he said.
Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement thanking police and other first responders and offering prayers to the victims.
Abbott said the state Department of Public Safety was assisting in the investigation, and Chacon said the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also assisting.