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Chase, attempted carjacking ends in police shooting of motorcyclist in Northeast Austin

Austin American-Statesman logo Austin American-Statesman 8/12/2022 Luz Moreno-Lozano, Austin American-Statesman
Austin Police Department © American-Statesman file Austin Police Department

A man was critically injured after being shot by law enforcement officers in Northeast Austin late Monday in an encounter that authorities said escalated into an attempted carjacking.

The man, who was identified by authorities Thursday as 37-year-old Brandon Michael Munoz, was shot by an Austin police officer and Texas Department of Public Safety trooper. He was in critical but stable condition, Austin Police Chief Joe Chacon said hours after the incident.  

An Austin police officer had pulled over a motorcyclist around 11:13 p.m. Monday at the intersection of Cameron Road and U.S. 290, east of Interstate 35, Chacon said. As the motorcycle came to a stop, the rider abandoned the motorcycle and began running south on Cameron Road, the chief said.  

The officer chasing the motorcyclist saw him holding a gun and told him to drop the gun. Police did recover a weapon but could not say whether the man fired it at the police officer during the chase.

Shortly after, a DPS trooper arrived at the scene to help. The officers chased the man to a nearby strip mall parking lot, Chacon said.

'This is a tragic situation': APD officers shoot, kill man in North Austin on Sunday

Several cars were parked at this strip mall, including one with a driver who Chacon said was waiting for someone else and was not involved in the chase.  

The motorcyclist, Chacon said, got in the vehicle from the passenger side and tried to carjack the vehicle with the driver. The officer and trooper saw this and both fired their weapons at the motorcyclist, who was struck while in the passenger seat.  

The vehicle's driver was able to quickly jump out and move away from the scene. Neither the driver, the police officer nor the DPS trooper were injured, Chacon said.  

The officer involved in the shooting has less than a year of service with the Austin Police Department, the chief said. No information was made available Tuesday about the DPS trooper.

More:Authorities release details, identify man killed in shootout with Austin police last week

Chacon said the Austin police officer will be placed on administrative duty while two concurrent investigations take place, which is standard Austin Police Department protocol when deadly force is used. The pair of investigations are:

  • A joint criminal investigation by Austin police, Texas Rangers (the investigative arm of the DPS), and the Travis County district attorney’s office.
  • And an internal administrative investigation by Austin Police Department with the Office of Police Oversight.  

The shooting was captured on body camera video, which will be released within 10 business days, Chacon said.

This is the sixth shooting involving Austin police this year:

  • The first occurred Jan. 29 in a motel parking lot in North Austin. The man, identified by police as Terry Gonzales, sustained injuries that medics described as not life-threatening.
  • On March 6, in the same area, another man, later identified as 28-year-old Miguel Ruiz Rivera, was shot by Austin police. The man fired at officers, and the officers returned fire, wounding him, police said. He later died.
  • On May 18, officers serving a warrant shot a man in Round Rock. The man, identified as Brandon Louis Marshall, had driven away from his home and led officers on a chase. When he finally came to a stop, officers began to approach him, and he fired his gun at them, police said. Officers returned fire, and Marshall was injured. After being hospitalized, he was taken to the Williamson County Jail.
  • Just over a week later, a man was killed in a shootout with Austin police at an East Austin apartment complex. The man, identified as 48-year-old Robert Hammitt, made the initial 911 call on himself before exchanging gunfire with police, according to details released by police.
  • In June, three Austin police officers shot and killed 42-year-old Carlos Eli Chacon-Castillo in North Austin. Chacon said the man might have been "in mental health distress" and was wielding a knife.

Anyone with more information about Monday night's incident involving Munoz can call Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477, or use the new Crime Stoppers app.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Chase, attempted carjacking ends in police shooting of motorcyclist in Northeast Austin

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