A man suspected of killing several people in a series of shootings in Austin, Texas, was arrested Tuesday and charged with capital murder and other charges, police said.
Robin Henderson, interim chief of the Austin Police Department, announced details of the shooting during a news conference early Wednesday morning. She said police didn’t determine the incidents were related until Tuesday evening.
“The nature of the relationship, if any, between the victims and the suspect is unknown,” Chief Henderson said.
The suspect, who has not been identified, may also be linked to another homicide investigation further south in Bexar County, she added.
The first shooting occurred Tuesday morning, when the suspect fatally shot an Austin school district officer, Chief Henderson said.
Austin police said Tuesday that Northeast Early College High School was placed on lockdown after gunshots were heard nearby. School district Police Chief Wayne Sneed told reporters the injured officer was in stable condition after being shot in the leg.
The second shooting, a double homicide of a man and a woman, occurred later Tuesday morning in an area south of the first, Chief Henderson said.
In the third incident, a bicyclist reported Tuesday afternoon that he had been shot, Chief Henderson said. His injuries were not life-threatening.
And on Tuesday evening, she said, officers responding to a call about a burglary found the suspect in the home’s backyard. The suspect shot at a police officer, who returned fire and suffered multiple non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. The suspect then fled in a vehicle and crashed while police were pursuing him.
As the chase unfolded, Chief Henderson said, other officers entered the home and found the bodies of two people. The department believes the suspect is also connected to those deaths, she said.
Austin police did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment Tuesday evening.
The Austin Independent School District Police Department declined to comment, although it said in a message to the school community that more than 1,200 students and staff were protected during the Tuesday morning shooting .
Separately, authorities in Bexar County, which includes the city of San Antonio, said Tuesday that the Austin suspect may have been involved in the deaths of two people in the San Antonio area Tuesday morning. San Antonio is about 80 miles southwest of Austin.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said San Antonio area police found two bodies in a home after learning from Austin police that the suspect, a man in his 30s , had ties to the house.
“He has some ties to this house, but I’m not sure what his relationship, if any, is to the people here in this house,” Sheriff Salazar told reporters at the scene Tuesday evening.
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