A sheriff’s detective is believed to have turned active shooter and killed three adults in Austin after being fired over child sex claims, as SWAT teams and FBI agents issued a shelter at home order amid fears the gunman could take a hostage.
Joseph Chacon, Chief of Police at Austin Police Deportment, named the ‘armed and dangerous’ suspect as 41-year-old Stephen Nicholas Broderick.
Local newspaper reports state that a Travis County Sheriff’s Detective with the same name is on leave, facing charges of sexual assault of a child in June 2020.
The arrest affidavit seen by the Austin American-Statesman said the assault happened at a home in Elgin. The victim cried to her mother, who took the child for an examination and doctors confirmed the abuse.
Police would not comment if the suspect in Sunday’s shooting was facing other criminal charges but told reporters he ‘might be former law enforcement’. Helicopters, SWAT teams and FBI agents are now involved in a frenzied search.
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Dozens of patrol cars rushed to the scene of a shooting in Austin Sunday along with heavily-armed SWAT teams in military fatigues
Police confirmed at 1pm CT that the shooter was still active, but said the incident is believed to be a ‘domestic situation’ that does not pose a risk to the general public
Shots were first reported in a 911 call at 11.42am CT, with Austin Police Department at 1pm confirming that the shooter was still active.
In a second release 40 minutes later, APD said the incident is believed to be a ‘domestic situation’ that does not pose a risk to the general public.
Austin Chief of Police Joseph Chacon told reporters that police were on the scene four minutes after receiving reports that shots have been fired.
He identified the victims as two Hispanic women and one black man.
Describing the suspect, he said: ‘We think we know our suspect, Stephen Nicholas Broderick, a 41-year-old black male who is described as 5ft 7in, of average build, and wearing a grey hoodie and a baseball cap.
‘We don’t know if he’s on a vehicle or on foot. We are asking individuals to continue sheltering in place because this is still an active.’
Asked if the suspect was a former detective facing child sex charges also called Stephen Broderick, Chief Chacon refused to confirm this but said he ‘might be former law enforcement’.
Also also said that a child was involved in Sunday’s incident but was unharmed and is now with police.
The Austin-Travis County EMS said three adults had been killed but it had not received reports of any other victims.
Josh Katzowitz, who had been shopping at the nearby Trader Joe’s, said police and ambulances came ‘pouring in’ to the area as he was leaving.
He didn’t hear any shooting.
‘The cops had their guns out,’ he said. ‘Some had pistols, some had rifles and they were strapping on bulletproof vests.
‘There were all of a sudden ambulances, sirens and police cars There were cops coming from everywhere.’
Austin Police Department tweeted at 1.40pm CT: ‘APD is currently on scene of an active shooting incident at Great Hills Trail and Rain Creek Parkway.
‘All residents are advised to shelter in place and avoid the area. PIO en route. – PIO8.’
The department added 40 minutes later: ‘At this time the Great Hills Trail scene is still active. We are still asking residents to shelter in place and report suspicious activity.
‘While a suspect is still at large it appears this is a domestic situation that is isolated and there is no risk to the general public.’
Josh Katzowitz, who had been shopping at the nearby Trader Joe’s, said police and ambulances came ‘pouring in’ to the area as he was leaving
The Austin-Travis County EMS said three adults had been killed but it had not received reports of any other victims
EMS spokeswoman Capt. Christa Stedman said early Sunday afternoon that the first 911 call came in at 11.44am CT and that three adults were fatally shot
EMS spokeswoman Capt. Christa Stedman said early Sunday afternoon that the first 911 call came in at 11.44am CT.
Images from the scene showed a large presence of emergency responders.
Steadman said she did not know the exact location where the three people were killed.
She said they responded to an area that included a strip mall, several retail stores with a large apartment complex behind it.
Austin Police Department tweeted at 1.50pm ET: ‘APD is currently on scene of an active shooting incident at Great Hills Trail and Rain Creek Parkway.’ The department added 40 minutes later that it was a ‘domestic situation’